COVID19: AstraZeneca unwanted as rollout reaches 47-year-olds

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Cypriots continue to shun AstraZeneca as just 10% of the 9,000 appointments booked by people aged 47-48 chose the COVID-19 vaccine.

The portal opened on Thursday at 7.30 am and by 9 am, 9,000 bookings were mostly for Pfizer from the 13,900 appointments made available, the Cyprus News Agency reported.

Some 8,030 Pfizer jabs were booked, while only 970 people chose the AstraZeneca vaccine, which has been linked to very rare cases of blood clots.

The online portal will remain open until 8 pm.

The Health Ministry said appointments would be made available for specific age groups for one day only after remodelling its vaccination schedule to boost coverage.

Next up are people aged 45 and 46 for vaccination appointments from 7.30 am on Friday until 8 pm.

On Saturday, 57 and 58-year-olds are given another chance, while on Sunday, the portal will open for those aged 59-60.

Officials told the Financial Mirror the vaccination plan is moving along quicker, expecting to reach people in their 30s by early May.

There are plans to operate a total of 15 inoculation centres based on the availability of vaccines and interest exhibited by the public.

“The vaccination program will now be moving to age groups which are more active socially and have more contacts in their work life,” an official source said.

The median age of people contracting the virus is dropping, while hospital patients are also getting younger.

People who do not book an appointment when their time comes will be given a second chance at regular intervals.