COVID19: More vaccinations necessary to curb Delta variant

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More vaccinations are necessary to avoid a worsening COVID landscape in September as schools reopen, said government coronavirus advisor Virologist Petros Karayiannis.

He told CNA that the number of daily cases is stabilising, but more vaccinations are needed.

Although the COVID-19 situation remains stable with around 400 cases daily, this may not be the true picture due to fewer tests were carried out during the August holidays.

He said serious hospitalisations remain high, especially for patients who are intubated.

“September will be difficult…we have been saying this for a long time now. The Delta variant is super transmissible, and in closed areas, it will create an even bigger problem if the unvaccinated are greater than those vaccinated.

“Therefore, it will depend on the environment of the particular business, classroom of students, student auditorium, etc.”

Karayiannis also said he hoped that Cyprus would not reach one thousand cases per day in September.

“We have managed to drop from 1,165 cases daily with minimal measures such as the Safe Pass and turning the public’s attention to vaccination.

“Therefore, until then (September), we might reach 85% of vaccination coverage.”

He said the “only way” to halt the spread of the virus is through vaccination.

Karayiannis also recommended that people continue to take personal protective measures, even those who have been vaccinated and wear protective masks as it prevents the spread of the virus.

Regarding the new school year, he said since for children under 12, there is no recommendation for vaccination, there should be protocols in place to secure the safe operation of schools.

He backed PCR tests for university students who have not been vaccinated, explaining that they are recommended because rapid tests do not detect the virus in the early stages when it is already transmissible.

Karayiannis also said a booster dose of the Covid vaccine would be necessary for the elderly, vulnerable groups and those who are immunosuppressed.