The health ministry in the Republic of Cyprus is scrambling to contain a possible spike in COVID cases this winter, with officials reportedly favoring a required third dose for individuals who want to use their vaccination status as a Safe Pass.
According to local media, health ministry officials have been poring over the latest epidemiological data in the Republic of Cyprus, including information about vaccinated individuals.
While some health experts have raised the alarm over a lack of rapid tests for vaccinated individuals, the government has yet to make a decision on whether to require jabbed people to get tested before accessing certain public venues thought to be high-risk places.
'Antibody tests are not recommended for those whose immunity is based on the vaccine' Armeftis said on state radio Thursday morning
But according to Kathimerini Cyprus, there is elevated concern over the winter season, as the latest data include numbers of hospitalized covid patients who have either not received a third dose of the vaccine or it has been over six months since their second jab.
Kathimerini’s Apostolos Tomaras said the profile of hospitalized patients was an issue of major concern among members on the government’s pandemic task force.
Scientists in Cyprus and overseas have also been debating on the definition of who may be considered fully vaccinated, referring to the number of doses needed for vaccination immunity.
But recent data also show that immunity wanes significantly several months after the second shot, particularly in older people, while some experts said proof of vaccination could provide a false sense of security.
Local media also pointed to a trend where vaccinated individuals choose to go to a lab and get tested for a count of covid antibodies before making the decision to get a third shot.
But health expert and medical pundit Charis Armeftis says it is a bad practice for anyone to encourage people to rely on antibody count, saying scientists were still divided on that issue.
“Antibody tests are not recommended for those whose immunity is based on the vaccine,” Armeftis stated on state radio Thursday morning.