COVID19: Cyprus vaccinates 7% of population

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Cyprus is closing in on its main targets in vaccination coverage against COVID-19, nearly completing vaccinations of the over 80s with 7% of the population receiving a jab.

In an announcement, the Health Ministry said Cyprus is among the first EU member-states regarding vaccinations, at least for the first dose of the vaccine of people 80 years of age and over.

“The National Vaccination Plan’s main priority was protecting the elderly, acting within the European Commission’s recommendations to shield this vulnerable part of the population.

“In addition to the short-term goal of protecting the elderly, the medium-long-term goal is reducing hospitalisations and deaths to relieve the Health System,” said the Health Ministry.

Cyprus has also reached the EU target of vaccinating at least 80% of its health professionals by March and already started the vaccination of high-risk groups.

Nurses are visiting homes to carry out vaccinations for those who can’t get out.

Cyprus administered 64,562 coronavirus vaccinations up until Tuesday, of which 44,239 received the first dose, and 20,323 are fully vaccinated.

Meanwhile, Cyprus’ vaccination rollout will quicken, with 160,000 vaccines are due to be delivered in March.

Vaccinations are carried out at nine Vaccination Centres across the island, with more scheduled to come online.

There are two large Vaccination Centres in operation, at the State Fair in Nicosia, and “Spyros Kyprianou” sports centre in Limassol with 15 and 10 stations, respectively.

This week, additional Vaccination Centres in Paphos and Larnaca will start operating, with a capacity of seven stations each. Health authorities plan to reach 15,000 vaccinations per day.

Citing a study by Public Health Scotland which indicates that vaccinations have drastically cut hospital admissions by up to 94%, Cypriot health authorities want to do the same.

According to the study based on the results of 1.5 million people who took the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines, by the fourth week after receiving the initial dose, hospitalisation risk from Covid-19 decreased by up to 85% and 94%, respectively.

Among people aged 80 and over – those at highest risk – vaccination was associated with an 81% reduction in hospital admission risk in the fourth week when the results for both vaccines were combined.

Next month Cyprus will receive 107,000 vaccines from AstraZeneca, up from 69,000 in February, another 50,000 from Pfizer, from an average of 28,000 and 7,500 from Moderna.

And Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine expected to get the green light from the European Medicine Agency sometime in March.