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Coronavirus: More doses of mRNA vaccines ordered ahead of third jab decision (updated)

file photo: the spread of the coronavirus disease (covid 19) in dublin, ireland

Cyprus has ordered additional Moderna and Pfizer shots as the booster anti-coronavirus jab will be administered using mRNA vaccines, regardless of which jab people initially received, a health ministry scientific advisor said on Monday.

Pending decisions by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) regarding the administration of a third vaccine dose, local advisors have submitted their recommendations to Health Minister Michalis Hadjipantelas.

Their decision is expected to be announced later on Monday, reports said.

The booster shot in Cyprus will most probably be administered to people belonging to vulnerable groups and the elderly, Karayiannis told AlphaNews on Monday.

He added that the shot will be administered using Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, even to people who received AstraZeneca or Janssen jabs.

According to Karayiannis, the country has already ordered additional doses of both mRNA vaccines in preparation for the decision of the EMA.

The administration of the booster jab is estimated to start in care homes the beginning of next month, Cyprus News Agency reported citing information.

Deputy Head of the Medical Services at the Health Ministry Olga Kalakouta told the news agency that a detailed plan is being prepared for the administration of the shot, including the use of mobile vaccination units.

Israel, the US and the UK among others have decided to proceed with booster shots. Israelis over 40 can get a booster jab, while the Biden administration expanded the vaccination programme for all adults, with the UK considering those over 50 and vulnerable groups for a booster shot.

The decision of the above countries provoked controversy with some experts warning this would increase mortality in third-world countries where vaccination percentage is much lower.

Earlier this month, the World Health Organisation said Covid-19 vaccine boosters are not needed and called for a halt in their administration until at least the end of September, citing the gap between vaccinations in wealthy and poor countries.

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