Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou on Wednesday called for action by the EU to make sure AstraZeneca treats the bloc the same way as its other customers after the company said it was cutting supplies to the EU in the first quarter due to production issues.

“It sounds a bit strange that there is a problem of delivery only to the EU whereas no such problems exist as regards other countries such as the UK,” Ioannou said.

He was replying to a question whether the announcement by AstraZeneca about delays in vaccine deliveries were expected to affect Cyprus’ vaccination plan.

Ioannou said he shared the views of the European Commissioner for Health. “Steps must be taken to ensure that Europe is being treated like other countries when it comes to vaccine delivery,” he said.

Regarding Cyprus, Ioannou said the government has ordered from AstraZeneca many more vaccines than the proportion of the population.

He added that the plan to vaccinate up to 100,000 people by the end of March was made after taking into account the reduced quantities.

“If these quantities increase, hopefully, then we will be able to vaccinate more people,” the minister said.

According to the government’s plan, by the beginning of March, those over 80 and front-line health professionals will have been vaccinated, taking into account the information received so far from Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca, he said.