Less than half of total nursing staff at public hospitals have opted to get vaccinated against coronavirus, state health services organisation spokesperson Charalambos Charilaou said.
Charilaou noted that while over 75% of doctors have gotten the jab, the corresponding number for nurses stands at just 45%, with a targeted informational campaign being developed to persuade nursing staff of the urgency of getting vaccinated against the virus.
Healthcare workers, and particularly those dealing with coronavirus patients, were among the first groups in line in the island’s vaccine rollout, which is steadily covering the local population through a descending age group system.
On Tuesday, the vaccine portal will be opening up for the 55-56 age group, with 20,000 appointments to be made available. Friday will see access granted to the 53-54 age group, while those aged 61-63 who missed out on their priority to book appointments due to a technical issue with the portal will get their shot to do so on Thursday.
Meanwhile, expert Petros Karayiannis was called on Monday to comment on recent coronavirus fatalities involving people who had gotten vaccinated against the virus, with Karayiannis noting that approximately 5-10% of people who get both doses won’t respond to the vaccine and remain at risk of infection and therefore death.
Karayiannis said older people who have underlying health problems and do not develop antibodies to COVID-19 after vaccination could die, but said this depends on the way each person’s organism functions.
For example, Karayiannis said, as regards the Pfizer vaccine approximately 5% of those vaccinated will not respond to it, while the figure jumps to 10-12% with the AstraZeneca jab.
With the island’s vaccine rollout currently lagging as a result of growing fears linked with the AstraZeneca vaccine, Karayiannis said “we have been making efforts for many days now to reassure people about the vaccine’s usefulness.”
“Proper information and transparency are needed to help people take the right decision.”
He said the epidemiological team will hold a teleconference on Tuesday evening to discuss ways of improving the climate surrounding vaccines.