| 19 April 2024, Friday |

Cyprus to inoculate children aged 12-15 to beat virus

As Cypriot authorities tackling a fourth wave of coronavirus it decided on Friday to expand its Covid-19 inoculation rollout to cover children aged 12 to 15.

Health Minister Michalis Hadjipantelas revealed that inoculating children aged between 12 and 15 would start Monday.

“The vaccination will be voluntary and with the necessary consent of the parents or legal guardians,” he said.

“Already several European Union countries, such as France, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, and Greece, vaccinate children aged 12-15 to achieve greater protection of the population,” he told reporters.

Children will be administrated with Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.

Over 20 percent of Cypriot teenagers aged 16-17 have received a vaccine shot.

“The only way to stop new aggressive Covid-19 variants is to vaccinate,” said Hadjipantelas.

Cyprus is experiencing a new surge in cases, peaking at 1,152 on 15 July.

The surge is blamed on the more potent Delta variant and a low vaccination rate among the under 30s.

In a bid to contain the spike, the cabinet decided Friday that unvaccinated visitors and tourists staying longer than seven days will need to take a PCR test after a week’s stay.

Currently, there are no restrictions on vaccinated tourists entering the country..

Hospitals have postponed all non-emergency operations as Covid wards reach capacity.

The health ministry said Cyprus has inoculated 73 percent of the eligible population with a first jab, and 64 percent are fully vaccinated.

The target is to reach “herd immunity” of 80 percent by the end of August.

Government-controlled southern Cyprus has registered over 100,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus infection and 416 deaths since the pandemic reached its shores in March 2020. Wearing face masks and social distancing are compulsory.

  • AFP