COVID19: Cyprus rolls out booster jabs for over 65s

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Cyprus health authorities are launching COVID-19 booster shots for the over 65s, starting Wednesday with those aged 86 and above.

People above 86 will be administered a third dose of a COVID vaccine at walk-in centres, pending the tweaking of the vaccination portal to allow people to book their appointment online.

Appointments through the vaccination portal are expected to be made available at the beginning of October.

The Health Ministry began booster doses for people living in nursing homes, health professionals, and vulnerable groups earlier in September.

Announcing the rolling out on Tuesday, the Health Ministry said only mRNA vaccines Pfizer and Moderna would be used for the booster jab, irrespective of the type administered before.

The authorities advised people to visit walk-in vaccination centres throughout the day to avoid congestion and long waits.

As is the procedure at all walk-in centres, people will need to carry a certificate of identification, such as an identity card, passport, or alien registration card.

The Ministry said that following the 86 and above group, younger age groups will be called for a booster shot depending on interest and vaccine availability.

People eligible for the third dose of a COVID-19 vaccine must have completed their vaccination by March 31, 2021.

So far, health authorities have administrated a third dose to 2,793 people, including 1,752 living in nursing homes, 510 health professionals in state hospitals, and 531 people belonging to vulnerable groups who have priority.

The decision to vaccinate people over 65 and vulnerable groups comes after studies have shown that immunity levels of the elderly can start to wane five months after their second shot.

And the European Medicines Agency said additional doses should already be considered for people with severely weakened immune systems as part of their primary vaccination.