Employees in more than 100 hotels in all districts have expressed interest in being vaccinated against the coronavirus after hoteliers arranged with the health ministry for mobile units to administer the jab.
According to Director General of the Cyprus Hotels Association (Pasyxe), Philokypros Roussounides, the vaccination will start on Saturday from Paphos. Health Minister Michalis Hadjipantelas and the ministry’s permanent secretary, Christina Yiannaki, are expected to visit the mobile unit that will kickstart the vaccination drive from Aphrodite Hills.
So far around 1,500 employees in 107 hotels in all districts have expressed interest, Roussounides said.
Vaccination through mobile units of the hotel employees, around 50 per cent of whom are unvaccinated, was arranged on Pasyxe’s initiative after staff cited among the reasons of them not getting the jab so far, concerns over delays at the vaccination centres which would mean disrupting their work.
“We expect that it will drop to 20 to 30 per cent,” Roussounides told the Cyprus Mail.
He said Pasyxe had also launched an info campaign among hotel staff about the benefits of the vaccine.
Hotel employees will be offered the Pfizer vaccine while people over 50 will be also given the option of AstraZeneca.
Hoteliers have been anxious to see more staff get vaccinated as a way of improving the country’s Covid-19 safety rating to attract more tourists.
The epidemiological situation on the island has deteriorated in recent weeks with authorities announcing on Thursday a record 993 cases. To boost the country’s vaccination rate especially among the younger population the government announced a series of incentives last week. These include a five-day leave to soldiers who will get the jab and a holiday allowance to people who are vaccinated.
The government had said that more incentives might be announced for the 18 to 30 age group in the near future.
So far 65.6 per cent of the population have received at least the first dose of a vaccine, and 53.9 are fully vaccinated. Experts say that vaccination coverage needs to reach 80 per cent for better protection against the Delta variant.