by Andreas Kokkinos
Vaccination centers in Cyprus are experiencing a low turnout in the past two weeks for people wanting to get the 4th dose of the updated covid vaccine. So far, only 1,119 people have been vaccinated since 20 September, when vaccinations for the booster/4th dose began.
But how worrying is the 'indifference' of citizens who, for various reasons, did not rush to get vaccinated? According to the communication officer of the Ministry of Health, Konstantinos Athanasiou, the main reasons are that the vaccine is optional - it is administered to the vulnerable and susceptible and the initial age limit was 50 years - while the very good epidemiological picture is reassuring people.
"Everyone can decide for themselves since the vaccine is optional. The situation today is nothing like it was two years ago. We are monitoring the situation and people are realizing it on their own. For example with regard to antiviral drugs, now people come and ask for them. Like the flu vaccine when people were reluctant, now they are going on their own," he said adding that it is expected especially between October and November that there will be a spike due to weather conditions and indoor gatherings. As Constantinos Athanasiou informed us, the new similar vaccine made by Moderna has arrived in Cyprus and its administration is expected to start next Thursday (29/9).
In the same vein, the views of Professor of Molecular Virology and member of the Scientific Advisory Committee Dr. Petros Karagiannis who told Kathimerini that he is waiting to see the new weekly update from the Ministry of Health, stressing that the majority of cases concerned children aged 6-11 years old, attributing the increased number of cases to the opening of schools. "The low number of vaccinations is mainly due to procrastination since our epidemiological picture is good," he said and then stressed that perhaps a portion of citizens are waiting for the new vaccine that will cover all four strains (the original, the original Omicron and the BA4 and BA5 that are currently prevalent).
"If we stick to the current variants and mutations there will not be much of a problem", he added, stressing that in Britain (as he is in London for personal reasons) the world has fully returned to normality with the absence of the use of protective masks - even on public transport or in crowded places - being a prime example.
[This article was translated from its Greek original]