Cyprus expects to take delivery of the first batch of flu vaccines by the end of September so that vaccinations of vulnerable groups can start early, a senior health ministry official has said.
Head of medical services at the ministry, Elizabeth Constantinou said that the first batch of 20,000 vaccines will be delivered by the end next month. She said that orders carry an option for the buyer to acquire 30% more or less of the ordered quantity, should there be a need for more though she said she was confident there will be ‘ample supply’.
Amid the coronavirus pandemic, health authorities anticipate greater demand for the flu jab. They are also keen to see wider vaccination programme so as to remain focused on tackling the coronavirus outbreak, given that many of the symptoms are similar.
The first 20,000 flu vaccines are intended for high risk groups, including people over 65, those with medical conditions, among them children aged six months to 15 years.
There will be another delivery at the end of October and a third – the biggest – in mid November.
Other deliveries of tens of thousands of vaccines are also planned, one of them as part of the European Union’s joint procedure.
The vaccines will be distributed through the General Health System with personal doctors responsible for drawing up lists among their patients that need to vaccinated for the flu. Individuals that belong to vulnerable groups must make arrangements through their doctors.
The flu shot will be free of charge for those who belong to the vulnerable groups as well as others such as health professionals, employees at care homes, vets, workers at abattoirs, people who care for vulnerable groups and people living in ‘closed communities’ such as at army camps.
Other wishing to be vaccinated must do so at their own expense.