COVID19: Vaccination appointments for 59, 60-year-olds

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Only people aged 59-60 were eligible to book a Covid-19 vaccination appointment on Friday as Cyprus’ rollout moved further down the age ladder, the Health Ministry said.

The online vaccination portal opened at 8 am until 8 pm, with 15,020 appointments available.

People aged 61 and over, who had not booked an appointment when the portal had been available for them, will get the chance to book again on Saturday.

There were 19,378 appointments made available for those aged over 61, but 12,000 were not taken up, as people showed a preference for Pfizer and Moderna jabs, turning their backs to AstraZeneca.

In just three minutes on Wednesday, there were 365 requests per second, crashing the portal under the burden.

After crashing for nine hours, Cyprus’ vaccination portal reopened on Wednesday at 5 pm, with only 4,000 people opting for an AstraZeneca jab.

Cypriots mistrust towards AstraZeneca’s jab has been growing after links to very rare blood clotting were proven.

The EU medicines agency concluded that unusual blood clots with low blood platelets should be listed as very rare side effects of AstraZeneca.

Most of the cases reported have occurred in women under 60 within two weeks of vaccination.

Based on the currently available evidence, specific risk factors have not been confirmed.

According to the EMA, the percentage of clots that have been recorded is 0.0011.5%, which makes it exceptionally negligible.

The Health Ministry is drafting a Plan B to reach its vaccination goal of covering 45% of its population by mid-May.

Daily Kathimerini Cyprus quoted a Health Ministry source, saying that unclaimed AstraZeneca jabs will be made available for people over 48.

Up until 7 April, 174,626 people have been vaccinated — 124,165 received one dose of a Covid vaccine, and 50,461 had both doses.

So far, the first dose of the vaccine has been administered to 9,788 people classed as vulnerable.