Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou said Tuesday that Cyprus has already filed a request for 1.2 million vaccines from the European Commission, which has shouldered the responsibility of securing vaccines for all member states from companies showing the most promise of developing an effective vaccine quickly.
Responding to comments made by the member of the government’s health advisory committee Petros Karayiannis on Tuesday, regarding the committee’s intention to propose to the health ministry that it moves to procure a batch of vaccines currently being developed at the University of Oxford, Ioannou said that EU member states will not be making their own negotiations with companies developing vaccines thanks to a coordination initiative of the European Commission.
Ioannou noted that Cyprus, along with the other member states, is a participant of the initiative taken by the European Commissioner for Health, Cyprus-born Stella Kyriakidou, which will see a sum of 2.7 billion euros from the Emergency Support Instrument (ESI) invested into companies showing promise of developing coronavirus vaccines quickly.
As such, the Cyprus health minister said the Commission is already in negotiations with the company AstraZeneca that is behind the development of the Oxford vaccine, which is expected to be ready by November this year.
Ioannou added that it has already been three weeks since the Cyprus health ministry informed the European Commission that it will be requiring 1.2 million vaccines, with the figure including the Turkish Cypriot community.