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COVID19: Setback as youngsters snub vaccine

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Health authorities are concerned over the country’s COVID-19 vaccination rollout slowing down as younger people are not coming forward for a jab.

Just shy of reaching its June target of vaccinating 65% of the eligible population with one shot of a coronavirus vaccine, Cyprus’ rollout is beginning to hit the buffers.

Some 63.6% of the population have received the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 47.8% have completed their vaccination.

The slowdown is attributed to the apparent lack of interest from people of younger generations.

Only 27.3% of those aged 18-19 have received one dose of the vaccine, while between 20-29, the vaccination coverage is 35.1%.

The respective percentages last week were 25.8% and 32.9%.

According to Health Ministry data., the vaccination of the 30-39 age group is moving steadily at 52.3%.

In the age groups of 40-49, 50-59 and 60-69, the vaccination rate is very high, reaching 72.5%, 71.6%, and 81.6%.

The percentage is even higher in the ages 70-79 (91.3%), 80 and over (91.8%).

The ministry argued that high vaccination rates in Cypriots over 40 has led to a large reduction in the number of cases in these age groups.

Some 75% of all cases announced in recent days involve people under the age of 40.

Even more worrying is the number of younger patients treated at an Intensive Care Unit.

Currently, the median age of patients is 54 years; more than 90% of those treated have not been vaccinated.

Paphos leads the vaccination table with 72.9% getting jabbed, Nicosia follows on 64.5%, Famagusta 64.1%, Limassol 61.2% and Larnaca 59.4%.

Health authorities urge people to get vaccinated as infections are on the rise, driven by the potent Delta variant.

The European Medicine Centre for Disease Control (ECDC) says vaccination with both doses of AstraZeneca or Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine effectively prevents hospitalisation (92% and 96% respectively) when it comes to the Delta variant.

Cyprus has reported 74,785 cases and 378 deaths.