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Coronavirus: Portal set to open next week for third jabs (Update 2)

a nurse speaks to an elderly woman who is about to receive a vaccine against the coronavirus disease (covid 19) at the health centre of latsia in the capital nicosia

Members of the public aged over 65 are expected to be invited to book a third Covid vaccine dose from next week, the ministry of health said on Monday.

Technical issues related to the portal were expected to be resolved by then so that the public could login and make an appointment for the third jab, Health ministry spokeswoman Margarita Kyriakou told the Cyprus Mail.

According to a cabinet decision, third doses will be given to people over 65 provided at least four weeks have passed since their second jab.

At the same time, Zoe Dorothea-Pana, a lecturer in pediatrics at the European University Cyprus ’School of Medicine, and a member of the covid team advising the health minister said the third dose is necessary to further protect the public from Covid-19.

Pana also told the Cyprus News Agency that an increase in cases is expected both in Cyprus and throughout Europe, as people return to their daily lives, but also because of flu season in the coming months.

Kyriakou said a total of 2,921 people have received the third dose of the anti-coronavirus vaccine so far, including state health professionals, people living in care homes and immunosuppressed of all ages.

The deputy head of public health services, Olga Kalakouta, told the Cyprus news agency, that around 8,000 people are expected to receive the third dose.

The option to utilise the walk-in vaccination centres for the administration of the third dose is being assessed by the ministry.

Recent studies show that an additional vaccine dose can improve the immune response in immunocompromised individuals, such as organ transplant recipients whose initial responses to vaccination were low.

However, the European Medical Agency (EMA) said earlier this month that based on current evidence, there was no urgent need for the administration of booster doses of vaccines to fully vaccinated individuals in the general population and younger ages.

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