COVID19: Vaccinations could begin in February

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Vaccinations against the new coronavirus in Cyprus will begin most probably in February and be completed at the beginning of the summer, a local expert believes.

“Based on the information we have, I estimate that vaccinations will start around February, but they will not be vaccinations for the general population,” Assistant Professor of Pharmacology at the University of Cyprus Medical School Nikolas Dietis told CNA.

Dr Dietis said the timeline depended on what kind of approval the vaccine company will get from the European Medicines Agency, whether it will be for specific population needs or for use for the general population from the beginning.

He argued that first, they will proceed with vaccinations for medical and nursing staff, the security forces, the elderly and other vulnerable groups.

“Gradually, vaccinations will be given to the general population.”

Regarding the vaccines, he said the European Union has made the agreement on behalf of Cyprus.

“In the beginning, we made pre-agreements before the results came out so that we could be prepared.”

“When a vaccine is approved and it is effective, then the order agreement will be signed. We made such pre-agreements with Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, CureVac and AstraZeneca.”

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have two doses each with a difference of 28 days for each person.

Dr Dietis said that there are around 80 vaccines that are in the phase of clinical trials and the successful Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are US vaccines from major companies that have completed their phase 3 clinical trials.

Apart from them, there is the AstraZeneca vaccine and the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, as well as 12 others that are also in phase 3 of clinical trials.

The EU has recently reached an agreement with CureVac, a German company with a vaccine now in phase 3.

He said the common goal is to produce antibodies against the virus but the technology is different in ways of making our body produce these antibodies. (source CNA)