Cyprus health authorities pushed forward with their COVID-19 booster shot rollout reaching people aged 80 and above on Monday.
Vaccinations are being carried out at the walk-in centres pending the tweaking of the vaccination portal to allow people to book their appointment online as of Wednesday.
People over 80, wanting to get vaccinated on Monday and Tuesday will have to visit a walk-in vaccination centre between 8am and 1pm.
Beneficiaries who have completed their initial vaccination abroad will not be able to arrange their booster shot appointment through the vaccination portal. They, too, will have to visit one of the walk-in vaccination centres from Monday to Thursday, 8am to 1pm.
Only the mRNA vaccines Pfizer and Moderna will be used for the booster jab, irrespective of the type administered initially.
Earlier in September, the health ministry began booster doses for residents and healthcare workers at nursing homes, health professionals, and vulnerable groups.
So far, those over 80 have been called to get their booster shots, starting with the over 86s and then the over 83s.
The roll-out of booster shots for priority groups, such as health professionals and the immunocompromised has already began, with vaccinations at nursing homes almost complete.
As is the procedure at all walk-in centres, people need to carry a certificate of identification, such as an identity card, passport, or alien registration card.
Vaccinated up to March 31
People eligible for the third dose of a COVID-19 vaccine must have completed their vaccination by March 31, 2021.
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.
Cyprus is one of a small band of EU countries, such as Italy, France, Germany and Ireland, that have already started to administer booster shots. The Netherlands plans to do so soon, but only to people who are immuno-suppressed.
The majority of the Union’s members are waiting for the European Medicines Agency (EMA) to give its opinion this week on whether it recommends the rollout of booster shots for the general population.
If the EMA gives its backing for the Pfizer booster, the 27-member bloc will join the United States, Britain and Israel, which have already received the green light to administer them.
The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) advised that booster shots be given as a precautionary measure, to older frail individuals, in particular, those living in closed settings such as residents of long-term care facilities.