An increase in vaccine appointments was a welcome change of pace in the Republic of Cyprus this week, but the health minister had to call on citizens not to show up too early after reports of crowds in Limassol forming long lines out of fear that supplies wouldn’t last.
A video posted on social media showed large crowds outside a facility in Limassol, where people who had made an appointment to get vaccinated showed up early to make sure they would get the shot by closing time at 6pm.
Reports said a large crowd was outside the Spyros Kyprianou Sports Center, which is being used as a vaccination facility during the pandemic, with many people standing under the hot sun until their number would come up.
But according to one social media user, people were waiting outside after being told the jabs had not arrived at the facility
In some cases, people reportedly went to reserve a spot as early as at least an hour before their appointment, over worries there may not be enough jabs or enough time to get vaccinated.
Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou expressed his frustration over the incident, saying vaccination centers have been working in an exemplary manner, adding the video from Limassol was an exception.
“Today’s pictures from Limassol are an exception that tarnishes the good work that is being done,” Ioannou wrote on Twitter.
Health officials also told the public and media that there was no chance for people to be left without a jab if they made an appointment through the GESY website.
But according to one social media user, who posted photos of large crowds waiting out in the sun Tuesday morning, people had been waiting because the jabs had not arrived at the facility.
“This is happening right now at the vaccination center. They say the jabs are not here yet. Who is at fault ladies and gentlemen? The whole place is packed. Minister, where are you, come and see for yourself,” the person wrote.
Some 2600 vaccinations were expected to take place at the facility on Tuesday, while people were being told to keep social distancing outside the facility.
Police officers were also called on site to issue citations for illegal parking, after traffic problems were reported in the area.