COVID19: Cyprus vaccination rollout reaches ages 51, 52

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Cyprus COVID-19 vaccination rollout slid further down the age ladder on Monday, as the appointment portal opened for people aged 51 and 52, but many are avoiding controversy-hit AstraZeneca.

The portal opened at 7.30 am Monday and will close at 8 pm Tuesday for appointments for the 51-52 age group, with 16,000 slots available.

On Sunday, health authorities gave another chance to those over 64 who either could not book an appointment when their age group was called or had opted not to get vaccinated.

Disappointingly, from a total of 16,900 appointments made available, only 6,027 were grabbed, less than half.

It is understood that the majority of appointments booked were for Pfizer’s jab, with AstraZeneca being snubbed.

According to the Health Ministry’s schedule, next in line will be people aged 49 and 50 able to book vaccination appointments from 7.30 am on Wednesday to 8 pm Thursday.

From 7.30 am on Friday until 8 pm Saturday, people aged 47-48 will be given a chance to book a vaccination.

Up to 17 April, Cyprus carried out 210,576 vaccinations, 152,603 receiving the first dose and 57,973 their second dose.

The Health Ministry said its vaccination rollout would “pick up the pace to achieve the necessary vaccination coverage of the population to allow the soonest possible further de-escalation of the restrictive measures and return to normality”.

Cyprus is expected to see increased vaccine deliveries with a huge Pfizer order in the next couple of months.

Cyprus will be receiving 600,000 doses of Pfizer, about 350,000 AstraZeneca jabs and 80,000 from Moderna.

Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou said that 40,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine would be received on Monday.

In comments to state radio CyBC, Ioannou estimated that some 70,000 to 75,000 people could be vaccinated within the next two weeks.

Ioannou also said authorities might reduce the time between the two doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine from 12 to eight weeks.

The decision is expected to be announced on Tuesday.