COVID19: Updated booster shot rollout for over 30s

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The cabinet on Wednesday approved experts’ recommendation to roll out a second booster shot for COVID-19 using the updated ‘bivalent’ vaccines.

The government said the decision was made after the vaccination committee reviewed the European Medicine Association and World Health Organisation reports.

The updated vaccines will be available as a second booster (fourth dose) for those aged 30 and above, those working in care homes and healthcare workers, and pregnant women regardless of age.

Recipients must have taken their previous COVID shot at least five months prior.

According to the cabinet’s decisions, the second booster will also be available to those aged 12 and above with certain health conditions, and five months have passed since their third dose.

These include people with diabetes, the obese with a BMI of 40 or BMI of 35 if accompanied by a metabolic issue, those with severe chronic heart and vascular issues, severe chronic kidney issues, and liver and neurological conditions.

The immunosuppressed and those with haemoglobinopathies are also eligible.

People with HIV/Aids infections, hereditary immunodeficiency, and those who have undergone organ transplants and are receiving immunosuppressive therapy are eligible for a second booster if they are older than 12.

The Health Ministry highlighted that the validity of the Safe Pass would not be impacted if people decide not to proceed with the fourth shot.

Meanwhile, the first booster (third dose) will be available, provided that five months have passed since the second dose. The updated vaccines will not be used as third doses.

The second booster rollout for the general public will begin on Monday using Pfizer shots updated to cover the Omicron variant and the original virus strain.

In the coming weeks, Cyprus health authorities will receive updated vaccines covering the Omicron subvariants BA4 and BA5.