COVID19: Vaccination train reaches people in their 30s

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Cyprus’ vaccination rollout continues climbing down the age ladder this week, with thousands of appointments made available to those aged 39-42 from Tuesday, the Health Ministry said.

Specifically, 42-year-olds will be allowed to book their vaccine appointment on Tuesday through the online portal, which will go live from 7:30 am until 8 pm.

According to the Health Ministry, around 10,000 shots will be made available for people aged 42.

On Wednesday, the portal will open for 41-year-olds; those aged 39-40 will be able to book their vaccination slot on Thursday.

The Health Ministry emphasised that appointments will only be made available to designated age groups, but many are shunning the COVID-19 jab.

It has speeded up the process to have everybody in their 40s vaccinated by early May.

But Health Ministry data suggests there is a sizeable percentage of people not booking a vaccine shot.

On Saturday, when the portal catered for ages 57 and 58, only 7,061 of 12,866 appointments were taken – a 55% take-up rate.

On Sunday, the portal reopened for people aged 59-60, with 7,147 out of 12,328 appointments being grabbed (58%).

On Monday, until 4.30 pm, 43- and 44-year-olds booked 9,652 out of 13,680 appointments.

The reluctance to get vaccinated could be partly due to Cypriots not trusting the AstraZeneca jab.

The Health Ministry said its vaccination rollout would “pick up speed to achieve the necessary vaccination coverage of the population to allow the soonest possible further de-escalation of 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 receive 600,000 doses of Pfizer, about 350,000 AstraZeneca jabs and 80,000 from Moderna.

As of April 25, 41,700 (27.5 doses per 100) vaccinations were administrated, covering 23.2% of the population with at least the first dose; 8.3% have received both jabs.