The Ministry of Health opened the portal Tuesday for 37 and 38 year olds to apply for a COVID-19 vaccination appointment, with the programme to reach the 33 year olds by the end of the week.
Hospitals’ operator OKYPY spokesman Charis Charilaou said on CyBC radio on Tuesday that with the admissions ‘stable’ at 275 patients and the worrying number of coronavirus deaths, “the best defence is to push ahead with our vaccination programme”.
Cyprus saw a record seven deaths from COVID-19 on Monday, a figure not seen since the five and six daily deaths last December, with the previous highest death rate being six a fortnight ago on April 15.
The health ministry said this raised the death toll since the pandemic started to 321 and nine in May alone.
The ministry said that the focus of the National Vaccination Plan for Covid-19 is to secure the first dose fort people aged 30 to 38.
“The main aim is to cover a significant part of the population within May,” the ministry said in an announcement.
“The target is to inoculate at least 60% of the population with the first dose by the end of June, considering the increased arrival of vaccines and the growing interest from the public,” the announcement said.
|Age||Date to access Vaccination Portal|
|37-38||Tuesday, May 4, 7.30am to 8pm|
|35-36||Thursday, May 6, 7.30am to 8pm|
|33-34||Friday, May 7, 7.30am to 8pm|
The ministry announcement clarified that the portal is open at the aforesaid dates and times only for the determined age groups, and not older.
The plan for forthcoming vaccination appointments “will be announced over the next few days”, the ministry added.
Herd immunity by end-June
On Saturday, health minister Constantinos Ioannou said that Cyprus hopes to achieve herd immunity by the end of June with about 60-70% of the population inoculated with the COVID-19 vaccine.
He said after visiting the vaccination centre at the Cyprus Expo state fair in Nicosia, that by recruiting some 200 GPs to assist with the vaccination programme, some 14,000 jabs can be offered per day.
GPs will be offering the AstraZeneca vaccines without having to go through the national health system GESY platform, after this jab was shunned by the Cyprus public after cases of thrombosis, with many opting for the Pfizer vaccine, as well as Moderna and Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen.
Ioannou added that 218,000 people or about 30% of the population has received the first dose of the vaccines.
“By the end of the current lockdown on May 10, we expect 270,000 people to have received the first dose of the vaccine. Ideal immunity will be achieved three weeks from that dose,” Ioannou said.
Most of the restrictions will be lifted once about 70% of the population has been vaccinated, Ioannou said, adding that some measures may stay for longer, possibly the use of facial masks.
“We are going through the most critical period of the pandemic and the only way to contain the spread of the virus is through vaccinations,” the minister said.
Ioannou said that there is a significant drop in infections among the over 70 year olds, where we have exceeded 80% vaccinations, while in the 60-69 age group, the vaccination rate has reached 55%.