Cyprus receives 436,000 vaccines amid alarming spike in cases

Cyprus has received 436,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccines as its 14-day cumulative number of cases per 100,000 persons hit a record high of 1,145.6 on Friday.

The batch delivered in Cyprus on Monday consists of the four vaccines that the European Union (EU) has authorised for emergency use, the state-run Cyprus News Agency reported, citing a document from the bloc’s Committee of Permanent Representatives.

The Ministry of Health said Cyprus’ current epidemic situation was disappointing, as case numbers for the two weeks starting April 11 hit a record high of 10,173, and 65.7 per cent of them were aged between 20 and 59, while 23.2 per cent were minors under the age of 19, the Xinhua news agency reported.

By Wednesday, 259,000 people in Cyprus, or 29.4 percent of the population, have received the first dose, and up to 67,000 people or 9.5 per cent have received both doses, said the ministry.

Health ministry spokeswoman Margarita Kyriakou said that 11,000 doses for the 30-40 age group were quickly used up once being offered on Tuesday, and the ministry had to throw in another 3,000 doses by the end of the day.

She said that it was an encouraging sign that younger people were eager to receive the jabs, and the vaccination program is expected to pick up speed next week with more doses allocated and more medical practitioners joining in.

The eastern Mediterranean island counts on achieving herd immunity for its 1.18 million population by mid-June, a peak tourist season.