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28 September, 2021
 
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Lack of data stymies booster shot debate

Unofficial reports suggest half of infected elderly patients in hospitals are vaccinated, experts want more data

Newsroom

Discussion in Cyprus over the possibility of a COVID booster shot ahead of the flu season is still up in the air, with the debate prompting officials to break an embargo on vaccination data of hospitalized patients and reveal that half of the older adult and elderly were vaccinated.

According to local media, health officials in the Republic of Cyprus say 95% of hospitalized patients are unvaccinated, with only 2% of those vaxxed being doubly vaccinated.

But the official figures have not been broken down by age groups, prompting experts taking part in a debate over a booster shot for the elderly to require more data to make the best decision.

Earlier this week, Health Minister Michalis Hadjipantela said while government planning included preparations for a third jab for vaccinated adults and seniors, he clarified that a booster shot was subject to approval in Brussels.

Two weeks ago the European Medicines Agency said it was “currently too early to confirm if and when a booster dose for COVID-19 vaccines will be needed.”

But the official figures have not been broken down by age groups, prompting experts taking part in the booster shot discussion for the elderly to require more data to make the best decision

EMA went on to say there was not enough data from vaccination campaigns and ongoing studies to understand how long protection from the vaccines will last, while also adding the spread of variants in the equation.

But health experts have been requesting more data from the Cypriot Health Ministry, which stopped reporting on the vaccination history in COVID-related deaths back in May.

The experts hoped to obtain much needed data from the health ministry to assess the situation properly, citing previous calls to get specific groups in Cyprus a booster shot against the coronavirus.

According to Philenews, which cited information obtained from officials within State Health Services Organization (OKYPY), there had been 16 hospitalized patents aged over 70 on July 8.

Knews has not confirmed the numbers but Philenews said half of the hospitalized patients were vaccinated and the other half had no vaccination history. The daily online also broke down the numbers according to subgroups, saying twelve patients were aged between 71 and 80, three were aged between 81 and 90, and one patient in hospital belonged to the group aged 91 and up.

Philenews went on to say that the vaccination rate of 50-50 was the same for Monday, July 25, with 52 hospitalized patients aged over 70. The daily broke down those numbers aldo, saying 32 patients were aged between 71 and 80, 18 were aged between 81 and 90, and 2 patients in hospital belonged to the group aged 91 and up.

Health experts on the government’s pandemic advisory committee have emphasized the need for vaccination among young adults, while a debate over teenagers getting jabbed also rages on alongside booster shots for older adults and the elderly.

Reports on Wednesday also said persons infected with the coronavirus were staying at home waiting to be called for admission to hospital, but their medical condition was not disclosed during public statements to local media.

Officials also said a 14-year-old male was the youngest patient this week, with his condition in Famagusta reference hospital said to be improving after catching pneumonia. He was expected to make a recovery and be released by the weekend.

TAGS
Cyprus  |  pandemic  |  hospital  |  vaccine  |  elderly  |  booster shot  |  vaccination  |  EMA

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