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Cyprus Health

Health minister dismisses vaccine shortage claim

File Photo: Outbreak Of The Coronavirus Disease (covid 19) In Tuebingen

Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou has rejected criticism from the Cyprus Association of Paediatricians over a shortage of children’s vaccines, saying that all necessary measures have been taken to ensure availability through the General Health System (Gesy).

It said that vaccines for chickenpox, pneumococcus, Boostrix (diptheria, whooping cough and tetanus) and Hepatitis A were already being distributed through Gesy pediatricians for the past three months.

Delivery has been made and distribution has started of the MMR shot (measles, mumps rubella) while the HPV has been ordered and should be delivered by the end of October.

The minister said there was currently a shortage of the TETRAXIM vaccine (for diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough and poliomyelitis) for which the supplier had up till the end of August assured would be delivered in early September as per the contract. An update is expected in the next few days while tenders are underway that include this vaccine, together with two others for which bids must be submitted on October 24.

To cover urgent needs after the coronavirus pandemic, arrangements had been made by exception with the Health Insurance Organisation so that up till the end of August and on presentation of the relevant documentation from their pediatrician, children could be vaccinated at maternity and child centres.

In a letter, paediatricians had complained of shortages in vaccines.

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