Platform for third vaccination to open Sept., is for specific groups only

The appointments platform for those qualifying for the third dose of the Covid-19 vaccine will open the first week of September, Secretary General for Primary Health Care Marios Themistocleous said on Monday.

During a regular briefing, Themistocleous said that over 5.9 million citizens (or 56.2% of the general population and 65.4% of the adult population) have been vaccinated with at least one dose of the vaccine. Over 5.6 million have completed vaccination, a number that corresponds to 53.5% of the general population and 62.7% of the adult one, he said.

At the same briefing, head of National Vaccination Committee Maria Theodoridou listed some of the categories of patients who should be getting the third shot: people with transplanted organs or haematopoietic cells; people with kidney failure who are on a therapy regime; cancer patients who are on a therapy regime; people with immunosuppression who have either an autoimmune disorder or an illness that suppresses their immunity; people with HIV whose cd4 are below a count of 200; and those who must take over 20mg cortisone on a daily basis for more than 30 days.

The third dose must be done no less than four weeks after completing vaccination with Pfizer, Moderna, Astra Zeneca, or Johnson & Johnson shots. People who have completed vaccination before August qualify, she explained.

Themistocleous, asked about whether vaccinations will become obligatory for all by the state – beyond health workers and teaching staff – said this cannot be expanded to large swathes of society. With some exceptions, when one’s decision to get vaccinated or not affects the health of others around them, the choice is an individual one, he said.