COVID19: Cyprus breaks 200,000 vaccinations milestone

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Cyprus’ COVID-19 vaccination rollout broke the 200,000 barrier on Thursday, while the Health Ministry forges on despite online booking glitches and doubts about some vaccines.

In a statement, the Health Ministry said the key to returning to normality is increasing the vaccination coverage of the country’s population, which is now at around 22%.

Cyprus on Wednesday was 2,000 vaccinations short of reaching the 200,000 milestone, as 198,600 people were vaccinated with at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, 57,060 people have had both jabs.

Amidst discontent over the vaccination portal crashing once more on Thursday morning when it opened for people aged 61 to 63, the ministry said the portal would open for those aged 53 and 54 on Friday until Saturday at 8 pm.

Appointments for Pfizer and AstraZeneca are available for this cohort.

“The aim is to accelerate the public immunisation programme so that people aged 45 and over receive at least the first dose of the vaccine by the beginning of May,” said the ministry.

It aims to vaccinate at least 60% of the population with one dose by the end of June.

After receiving his AstraZeneca shot on Thursday, Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou said: “Cyprus is expected to achieve the appropriate immunity to Covid-19 by the end of June, with 70% of the population being vaccinated”.

Approximately 83% of people aged 80 and over, 79% of 70 to 79-year-olds are vaccinated, translating into fewer cases and hospitalisations for these groups.

Cypriots are being urged to get vaccinated once their turn comes to reduce the risk of serious illness or death.

“Vaccination is the only way we can take our lives back into our own hands to get back to normal as soon as possible,” the ministry said.