COVID19: People urged to get boosted as new wave likely

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Authorities and experts urge everyone to get a second COVID-19 booster shot regardless of their health situation, as the winter could bring a new coronavirus wave.

In comments to the Financial Mirror, the Health Ministry’s spokesperson Konstantinos Athanasiou urged the public to get a second updated booster, now covering the latest Omicron subvariants.

Athanasiou said that only 6,500 people had taken a fourth COVID-19 shot since authorities rolled out a second booster in March this year.

Cyprus last month lowered the age limit for administrating an updated second COVID-19 booster to cover everyone over 30.

People over 30 are now eligible to receive a dose of an updated COVID-19 vaccine covering the Omicron variant and its BA4 and BA5 subvariants.

A choice is given to the public between a Moderna vaccine covering the original strain of the virus and the Omicron variant and a Pfizer shot covering the original strain and the Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants.

“We urge people to get their second booster now before the winter sets in and a possible new wave of infections hits us,” said Athanasiou.

He encouraged people to head for a walk-in vaccination centre before they get too busy in the coming months.

In comments to state radio CyBC on Thursday, epidemiologist and government advisor Dr Michalis Voniatis urged that the pandemic is far from over.

“Although hospitalisations and deaths are dropping, the virus is still circulating in the community”.

He said a new wave of infections is expected to hit Europe in the winter months; a high vaccination coverage would not allow the virus to spread as rapidly as it did during previous waves.

Cyprus has reported 590,783 cases and 1,187 deaths since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.