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Coronavirus: Vaccines probably ready for next summer says health minister

Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou on Thursday morning said Covid-19 vaccines are currently being developed at European and global level, but they might take time to reach people.

Speaking on a CyBC radio programme, Ioannou said “the best case scenario will be to see the supply starting at the beginning of 2021.

“However, it will likely take a few months for vaccination coverage, so people who will want to be vaccinated for Covid-19 will have to remain patient until the summer.

“Until then we must learn to live with the virus and to respect and follow the measures in place,” he said, adding that Cyprus will be ready and prepared should a there be a second wave and another spike in cases.

Ioannou also weighed in on the use of masks in schools.

Parents of high school students on Wednesday lambasted a health ministry announcement that teachers were allowed to remove their masks when they see fit to better communicate with pupils, citing discrimination against the teens who are obliged to wear throughout the class.

“It is common sense that a teacher can, for a short and limited period, remove his or her mask provided that distances are observed. If you ask me, the student can do it too,” Ioannou said.

However, he added that the use of masks remains mandatory in schools and that exceptions are not on the cards for the time being.

“If we start to make exceptions to protocols, there is no reason to actually have protocols in place.”

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