Cyprus offers vaccine booster for over 18s

After an increase in daily cases and hospitalizations, Cyprus will gradually offer a booster dose of the coronavirus vaccine to people over 18, the country’s health authorities said on Monday. The health ministry said the booster doses would be available without an appointment from Wednesday at dedicated centers for anyone over the age of 40 who had been vaccinated six months previously.

Almost 80% of the population fully vaccinated

The decision was taken on Monday by the government to extend the administration of the booster doses to the entire adult population. Daily cases on the island of about one million people had dropped to a few hundred, thanks to a high rate of vaccination, after peaking at 1,152 cases of infection per day. But vaccination of the adult population is struggling to advance after reaching a rate of 80%, and on Monday the number of new cases rose to 354, the highest figure since August.

Cyprus launched its booster dose program in early September in residences for the elderly and for healthcare workers, and then extended it to younger populations. But eligible people did not show up. According to the Ministry of Health, 57.8% of over 80s received their booster dose against only 23.3% of over 70s and 13% of over 60s.

Cyprus has recorded a total of 128,038 cases of Covid-19 and 588 deaths. The infection rate reached 284.7 per 100,000 people as of November 8. In Europe, Norway will also offer a third dose of the vaccine for everyone over 18.

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