COVID19: Cyprus vaccinations reach 116,000 people

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Cyprus’ inoculation programme has picked up speed as vaccine deliveries in March have increased, with authorities vaccinating 10% of the population.

The health authorities said on Friday that they are pushing ahead with the COVID-19 vaccination rollout that has so far reached 116,331 people, of whom 31,968 have already received a second jab.

Meanwhile, vaccinating high-risk people is also expected to pick up over the next few days, aiming for at least 30,000 people receiving their first jab before the end of the month.

According to a Health Ministry update, some 1,489 people in vulnerable health groups and a further 170 bedridden people have also been vaccinated.

Currently, the vaccination programme has worked its way down to people aged 67 and above as the health ministry announced that another 22,808 inoculation slots for this age group would go online from next Tuesday. Some 15,000 appointments were grabbed within just three hours of the first slots for the over 67s.

Earlier this week, the health ministry also noted that Cyprus had met the EU target of vaccinating at least 80% of health professionals by March, in line with European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC) guidelines, while also achieving the target of vaccinating people aged over 75.

Cyprus is relying on the first three EU-approved vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca-Oxford, with authorities having pre-ordered 4 million doses of vaccines, corresponding to 2 million people – twice its population.

Throughout this month, Cyprus should receive more than 164,000 vaccines, 64% more than the previous month.

The health service will receive 107,000 vaccines from AstraZeneca, up from 69,000, some 50,000 from Pfizer, from the planned 28,000 and 7,500 more from Moderna.

The aim is to vaccinate 200,000 people by the end of the month and a 60% of the entire population by June.

On Thursday, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) gave the single-dose Johnson & Johnson-developed coronavirus vaccine the green light as the EU seeks to speed up a stuttering inoculation campaign, with Cyprus ordering 200,000 doses.