COVID19: President gets booster jab

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President Nicos Anastasiades received his third jab of a COVID-19 vaccine on Friday to promote a booster shot campaign and bolster vaccination rates among the general public.

At 75 years old, he is thought to be among the first heads of government to receive a booster jab.

Anastasiades received his booster shot at the State Fair in Nicosia, calling on the public to respond to calls from the Ministry of Health and scientists to get jabbed, especially the elderly, who are the most vulnerable.

“Those who have not been vaccinated should do so, and those who are called for a third dose due to their age should not hesitate to protect themselves,” the President told reporters after his inoculation.

“They owe it to their families, to themselves, we owe it to society in general, it’s a matter of social responsibility”, Anastasiades said.

The President also pointed out that Cyprus has a very high vaccination coverage rate, reflected in the epidemiological indicators.

When asked if booster shots will be extended to the general population, President Anastasiades said: “We will adhere to the advice of scientists. It is a possibility. What we are interested in is to have an autumn without problems”.

Health Minister Michalis Hadjipantelas is expected to convey his ministry’s proposals to the cabinet later in the day.

Cyprus rolled out a booster shot campaign for people over 65 and those belonging to vulnerable groups and health workers last month.

President Anastasiades completed his initial vaccination scheme in January, as he was one of the first Cypriots to get vaccinated in late December.

Health authorities progressed with their COVID-19 booster shot rollout reaching people aged 70 and above on Friday.

It runs alongside a vaccination programme for those aged 12 and upward.

The island is exiting the fourth wave of COVID-19 infections, with cases peaking at 1,152 in mid-July.

On Thursday, authorities announced another 131 new COVID-19 cases.

Close to 80% of the adult population has been fully vaccinated.

So far, Cyprus has reported 120,992 COVID-19 infections and 557 deaths.