COVID19: Cyprus shortens wait for AstraZeneca second shot

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Cyprus has reduced the time between AstraZeneca shots from 12 weeks to eight in a bid to speed up efforts to reach herd immunity, the Health Ministry announced Tuesday.

“After reviewing and evaluating the data from international vaccine studies and the recommendation in the AstraZeneca Vaccine Package Leaflet, it was decided to reduce the period between the first and second dose of the vaccine from 12 to eight weeks,” the ministry said.

“The National Vaccination Plan aims to proceed rapidly with the vaccination of the majority of the population with the available licensed vaccines, to achieve a significant level of herd immunity and to protect citizens from serious illness and hospitalization,” it added.

From Tuesday, people vaccinated with AstraZeneca will be given an appointment for the second jab eight weeks later.

The Health Ministry said adjustments would be made for people who have already taken the first AstraZeneca jab.

People who have already been vaccinated with the first jab up to nine weeks ago will see their appointment moved closer.

Those who have had the vaccine 10 to 12 weeks ago will not see their appointment dates change.

Meanwhile, Cyprus’ vaccination rollout progresses with thousands of appointments made available to those aged 39-42.

Specifically, 42-year-olds were called to book their vaccine appointment on Tuesday through the online portal, which went 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.

Some 41,700 (27.5 doses per 100) vaccines have been administered, covering 23.2% of the population with at least one dose; 8.3% have received both jabs.

Cyprus has inoculated 84% of people aged 80 and over with the first dose, while the age group 70-79, 80% have been vaccinated.

The number of people hospitalized from these age groups has decreased significantly.

The average age of hospital admissions has dropped to 58.6.