Cyprus to give booster jab to over 65s

Cyprus Minister of Energy, Commerce and Industry, Natasa Pilides is seen after receiving a dose of AstraZeneca (COVID-19) vaccine in Nicosia, Cyprus April 15, 2021. Stavros Ioannides/PIO/Handout

NICOSIA: Cyprus will give Covid-19 booster jabs to those over 65 and care home residents whose full vaccination is more than six months old, Health Minister Michalis Hadjipantelas said Thursday.

The decision comes after the cabinet approved Covid-19 vaccine booster shots for the elderly, vulnerable groups and health professionals.

Hadjipantelas said people over 65, those living in care homes, the immunosuppressed of all ages and health professionals would be given a third dose, provided it has been at least six months since their second jab.

The decision comes after the European Medicines Agency said that additional doses should be considered for people with severely weakened immune systems as part of their primary vaccination.

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, however, said there is no urgency for boosters to be administered to the general public.

Health authorities in Cyprus have contained the fourth wave of infections driven by the virus's Delta variant, which triggered a record 1,152 daily cases in mid-July.

"Important steps have been taken to stop the Delta variant and to curb the reluctance of those to get vaccinated," Hadjipantelas said.

He said Cyprus had the second-lowest coronavirus mortality rate among European Union countries after Finland, with 507 deaths and 114,131 cases since the outbreak began in March 2020.

As of August 31, 74.2 per cent of the population have been fully vaccinated, and 79 per cent have received one shot.





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