COVID19: Cyprus vaccinates 44%, rollout reaches teenagers

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The national vaccination plan has reached people aged 18-24, with already 44% of the adult population receiving at least one jab of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou will hold a news conference on Tuesday to reveal how the vaccination rollout will continue.

It has gone through all the age groups since starting in December with people in their 90s, health workers and residents at nursing homes.

Cyprus’ online vaccination platform opened for 18 to 21-year-olds on Monday at 7.30 am. Within the first two hours, 8,855 appointments were made from the 15,920 made available until Tuesday.

The Health Ministry appears content with the pace of the vaccination rollout, both at a geographical and an age level.

It said the number of COVID-19 cases had declined while the hospital indicators have improved.

“Especially at older ages where vaccination coverage exceeds 80%, the number of cases remains stable at very low levels since March, while hospitalizations at these ages have declined sharply.

“At the same time, there is a gradual decrease in the number of cases and hospitalizations in the ages of 50-69, who have received at least the first dose of the vaccine.”

A gradual decrease or even stabilization in positive cases is observed in the other age groups as their vaccination progresses.

“This has the effect of gradually reducing the number of people who are seriously ill and consequently hospital admissions, significantly relieving the health system,” said the ministry.

A total of 324,573 people (43.9%) received a vaccine jab until May 15, while 108,789 people (14.7%) have been fully vaccinated.

From December 27, 2020, until May 15, 433,362 vaccinations were carried out, which amounts to 49.3 doses per 100 inhabitants.

Aided by a two-week lockdown, authorities speeded up the country’s vaccination rollout, resulting in daily cases dropping from a record 941 in April to 165 on Sunday.

Hospitalisations dropped from over 300 to 157 on Sunday, 50 of which were in serious condition.

Geographically, vaccination coverage percentage has increased in each district, with Paphos ranking first at 46.6%.

Nicosia follows with 43.7%, Larnaca on 42.3%, Limassol with 41.7% and Famagusta with 40% (data until May 14).

The Health Ministry aims to cover 65% of the population with at least the first dose of a vaccine before July.

The online platform will open Wednesday for people aged 61 to 65 and again on Friday for those aged between 46 and 49.