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Coronavirus: Booster shots, jabs for over 12s discussed (Update 2)

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A third coronavirus vaccine dose for those in vulnerable groups and the potential immunisation of those aged 12 and above was discussed at Monday’s Covid-19 meeting.

The discussions took place between the government’s epidemiological advisory team and Health Minister Michalis Hadjipantelas on Monday.

A member of the team and professor of microbiology and molecular virology at the University of Nicosia Medical School Petros Karayiannis said ahead of the meeting he would recommend a booster shot of the anti-Covid vaccine for those who were vaccinated first.

The immunity provided to people by the vaccines appears to have dropped a little over time, hence “we may have to think about a boosting dose”, Karayiannis told Alpha. The third dose should start being administered around the end of August to prepare for autumn, he added.

Expressing concern over recently reported cases in nursing homes, Karayiannis said he would submit his recommendation during the meeting.

Answering a question about young people wishing to get infected with Covid to gain antibodies, the professor called them “irresponsible” and said they would be at risk of “long Covid”.

Long Covid is said to affect up to 30 per cent of cases, whose symptoms persist for months after they contract the virus.

Local media reported that the possibility of making coronavirus vaccines accessible to those aged 12 and above was also discussed, but no decisions we finalised. The matter is due to be further discussed at the council of ministers meeting on Friday.

Meanwhile, vaccinations continue at a fast pace, Karayiannis said, and the implementation of SafePass appears to be efficient in containing the spread of the virus.

Commenting on the possible implementation of further measures after a surge in daily cases, Hadjipantelas told the media on Sunday all efforts are made to avoid a blanket lockdown.

The professor also revealed that he has become a victim of verbal abuse due to his role as a health ministry’s advisor regarding pandemic issues, but that does not affect him professionally. Reports have been submitted to the police’s cybercrime department over some of the cases of online threats and insults, he said.



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