Cyprus will receive its first batch of COVID-19 vaccines on Boxing Day with the vaccination rollout beginning on Sunday.
The first batch arriving on Saturday is 8,000 doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.
According to the timetable, the vaccines will be delivered weekly and it is estimated that during the first three months of 2021, Cyprus will receive approximately 28% of the total quantity ordered.
The first people expected to be vaccinated are the elderly and staff at care homes.
In comments to the Financial Mirror, the president of the Cyprus Third Age Observatory, Demos Antoniou, confirmed that authorities have already asked care home residents or their families to fill in a form of consent to be the first group to be inoculated.
President Nicos Anastasiades will also be among the first to get vaccinated on Monday at a vaccination centre.
Cyprus is launching its vaccination programme together with the rest of the EU.
Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou tweeted “this is the beginning of the end”.
European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen announced the Union-wide programme called #EUvaccinationdays.
She said that “it’s Europe’s moment. On 27, 28 and 29 December vaccination will start across the EU.
The vaccination programme, starting with the elderly aged over 80, front-line medical workers and vulnerable groups above 75 years old, will select recipients via an algorithm.
Each of the groups mentioned above consists of around 33,000 senior citizens.
Based on the national vaccination plan for COVID-19, the total amount of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines available for Cyprus is 391,637 (divided into 2 doses per person) until the third quarter of 2021.
A quantity of 48,955 is expected to be distributed within the next 30 days which corresponds to vaccinating 24,477 people.
Cyprus expects to receive 1,192,043 doses of the Astra Zeneca vaccine, once it is approved, through to mid-2022.
The authorities have ordered a total of 3 million doses which correspond to 1.5 million people.
Cyprus included the Turkish Cypriot community in its vaccine orders.