With the vaccine rollout due to begin in Cyprus on Sunday, the health ministry on Friday issued an advisory to the public as to what they can expect during and after the jab.
The first vaccinations will take place in nursing homes and at the Famagusta reference hospital.
The vaccines will be received on Saturday by the health minister and the EU health commissioner.
According to the ministry, the vaccine reduces the risk of being infected but some people may still become infected with Covid, despite the job. If so, the vaccine may reduce the symptoms associated with coronavirus as long as people make sure to have their two doses.
“Like all medicines, no vaccine is completely effective… that’s why even after the vaccination the person must apply the usual practices of personal hygiene and protection, such as frequent hand washing, maintaining social distance and using a face mask,” the ministry said.
The ministry said the vaccine cannot cause coronavirus to develop in a person.
It said people must make sure, before they leave the vaccination centre, to make an appointment for the second dose.
“For better protection it is required to be vaccinated with both doses of the vaccine,” it added. People will receive a card with a reminder date.
“Like all medicines, vaccines can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them,” said the ministry.
“Most of them are mild and do not last long and certainly do not happen to everyone.”
It stressed, however, that even if someone presents with symptoms after the first dose, they should take the second dose for better protection.
Common side effects of the Pfizer (Comirnaty mRNA vaccine) include:
• sensitivity at the injection site
• swelling at the injection site
• redness at the injection site
• feelings of tiredness
• motion sickness
• muscle pain (myalgia) or joint pain (arthralgia)
• feeling feverish
• swollen glands (lymphadenopathy)
The ministry said symptoms usually last less than a week.
“However, if your symptoms seem to worsen or if you are concerned contact your personal physician,” it said.
Any suspected serious adverse reactions must be reported through the national adverse reaction system to the pharmaceutical services by submitting the ‘yellow card’ in the following ways:
Online submission: http://www.kitrinikarta.gov.cy
Printed Send of the Yellow Card available from the website of the Pharmaceutical Services:
• By mail (toll free): Pharmacovigilance Unit, Pharmaceutical Services, Ministry of Health CY-1475, Nicosia, telephone 22608607
• Submission by fax to the number +357 22608669
Shortly afterwards, President Nicos Anastasiades on Twitter said “hope becomes tangible, as we welcome the vaccine”.
“Compatriots, on the day of this difficult Christmas for the whole world, I wish everyone, health above all. Pay special attention today, ourselves and the people around us. Merry Christmas. Remember that in the next twenty-four hours, hope becomes tangible. We are ready to welcome the vaccine, the gift of the scientific community to humanity, we are ready to begin to build slowly, the wall of resistance to the spread of the pandemic.”