COVID19: Booster shot programme moving along

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The Health Ministry said that the COVID-19 booster shot programme for vulnerable groups and the elderly in Cyprus is continuing at a satisfactory pace.

After administering a third dose of a COVID-19 vaccine to those aged over 86, people belonging to vulnerable groups and health workers, authorities on Monday moved the aged limit down to 83.

The ministry said that 1,706 people received the third dose at the walk-in centres in all districts on Monday while the vaccination of health professionals and people working and residing at care homes continues.

Vaccinations of vulnerable groups are being carried out with appointments handed out to beneficiaries over the phone.

The ministry said that it is focusing on shielding the population ahead of winter and the seasonal infections that will occur in tandem with Covid-19, reassuring that there are enough vaccines to cover booster shots for those interested.

Only the mRNA vaccines Pfizer and Moderna are offered for the booster jab, irrespective of the type administered initially.

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

Health authorities will be moving on to younger age groups “according to interest and vaccine availability”.


Immunity levels

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

So far, according to the ministry, 80.8% of the island’s adult population has been vaccinated with at least one shot of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 77.4% have completed their initial vaccination scheme.

As regards teenagers, 41% of the age group 16 and 17 have received at least the first dose and 35.5% are fully vaccinated.

Some 26.2% of children aged 12 to 15 have received at least one shot and 18.8% have completed their vaccination scheme.