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COVID19: Younger people snapping up vaccines

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Younger people are proving more receptive to getting a COVID-19 vaccine than older age groups, as 39- and 40-year-olds took all 13,000 available appointments on Thursday, seeing the Health Ministry adding more.

In less than an hour from the online vaccination portal going live at 7.30 am on Thursday, beneficiaries had booked all 13,000 appointments offered.

The Health Ministry said: “Due to increased demand, more vaccines have been added.”

The portal opened at 7.30 am and will remain accessible until 8 pm.

When the vaccines were offered to those in their 50s and 60s, the take-up rate was no more than 60%.

There were fears the portal would again crash under the sheer weight of numbers, but Innovation Minister Kyriakos Kokkinos said this avoided, although it did slow due to user overload.

“The portal works just fine. It was slow for the first 5-10 minutes,” Kokkinos told CyBC radio.

“Due to overload, some citizens may have experienced the system slowing and could not be serviced immediately, but it was a matter of half or a minute for the system to accommodate them.”

Cyprus vaccination rollout will take a break from sliding down the age ladder to cater once more to older people who have not booked a vaccination appointment.

On Friday, those aged 68, 69 and 70 who missed their previous chance will be able to book a vaccine appointment from 7.30 am to 8 pm.

The portal will close during the Easter holidays and resume on Tuesday, 4 May catering to those aged 37 and 38.

A total of 259,089 inoculations against COVID19 (29.4 doses per 100 inhabitants) have been made in Cyprus as of 27 April.

Some 193,882 (24.1%) have received the first dose, and 65,207 (7.9%) have been vaccinated with both doses.

The Health Ministry said vaccination centres across Cyprus would work longer hours to cover the increased 14,000 inoculations per day.