The first batch of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccines arrived in the Republic of Cyprus on Tuesday, as part of a European vaccination programme, with officials pinning their hopes on AstraZeneca which is not far behind.
According to the Cyprus News Agency, the Health Ministry said 1200 doses of the Moderna vaccine were delivered on Wednesday night, part of a total of 16,500 expected from the company by the end of the first quarter 2021.
Moderna says its coronavirus vaccine, which was conditionally approved by the European Commission last week, will provide immunity from the disease for at least one year.
But the World Health Organization has warned that herd immunity is unlikely in 2021 despite the vaccine rollout in countries around the world.
Moderna says its vaccine will provide immunity for at least one year but the World Health Organization has warned that herd immunity is unlikely in 2021 despite a global vaccine rollout
EMA has so far approved the conditional marketing of COVID-19 vaccines by Pfizer/Biontech and Moderna. Special freezers in Cyprus are currently being used to store the two vaccines.
A third company awaiting EMA approval is AstraZeneca, with Kathimerini Cyprus reporting the first batch of those vaccines could reach the island next month. The company is scheduled to provide the largest quanitity of COVID-19 vaccines to the island.
EMA said it has received an application for conditional marketing authorization for a COVID-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, with EU officials expecting to fast track the process on an “accelerated timeline.”
The AstraZeneca shots would be a bid deal for Cyprus, according to Kathimerini’s Apostolos Tomaras, who said EMA was expecting to approve the vaccine by January 29 based on terms and conditions that include continuous monitoring and the ability to reassess new information on the fly.
Cypriot officials expect the AstraZeneca vaccine to accelerate the country’s inoculation programme, Tomaras said, adding that the health ministry hopes to meet its goal of vaccinating over 40% of the population by the first half of 2021, including the elderly, front line workers, and people from vulnerable groups.
Moderna vaccines, shown in clinical trials to be 90.9% effective, are given in two doses about a month apart. So far they have also been approved in the United States, Canada, Britain, and Israel.