Four elderly COVID-19 hospital patients who lost their lives to the virus in the past four days had not been vaccinated, the Health Ministry said Tuesday.
All four pensioners who died from the coronavirus had underlying health conditions, but authorities attributed their deaths directly to COVID-19.
The deaths were a 95-year-old woman treated at Limassol General on Sunday, a man, 91, who died at Nicosia General on Saturday, an 82-year-old woman, and a man, 90, who died Monday.
With the country’s vaccination program working its way down the age ladder to 66, some 131,623 people have received the first dose up to Sunday, including 37,109 who received the second dose and completed their vaccination.
The vaccination plan has prioritised health professionals, the elderly and those belonging to vulnerable groups.
It also emerged on Tuesday that 50% of medical staff have opted not to receive the Covid vaccine.
The news made headlines on Tuesday after a cluster broke out at the Makarios children’s Hospital in Nicosia.
Meanwhile, the Health Ministry called on people who had their vaccination appointment postponed following a freeze on AstraZeneca vaccines to reschedule before 7 pm Tuesday.
The vaccination portal went online Monday exclusively for people who had their appointments postponed.
Up until 3 pm on Tuesday, just 57% of some 7,500 affected people had rescheduled, suggesting that some mistrust has built up over AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 jab.
Cyprus suspended vaccinations of AstraZeneca on 15 March, restarting on 19 March, pending an investigation of the EU medicine agency (EMA) into some blood clotting cases of people who had recently been vaccinated with the vaccine.
EMA gave the vaccine the all-clear last week; after its safety committee, PRAC concluded the vaccine is “not associated with an increase in the overall risk of thromboembolic events or blood clots.
A late-stage US clinical trial of the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine found the jab effectively prevented COVID-19 while also being safe to use, easing concerns over blood clotting incidents in Europe.
According to the pharmaceutical, during trials, the vaccine was 100% effective in preventing severe illness and hospitalisation and 79% effective in preventing symptomatic cases of COVID-19.