Admissions at Famagusta general hospital are falling but the average age of patients is rising, the facility’s scientific director said on Wednesday as walk-in centres opened for third doses.

“The past few days we have seen a decline in infections, which has meant fewer hospital admissions,” the hospital’s Amalia Hadjiyianni said.

But she added that the average age for hospital admissions has started climbing up, because even though some patients had been vaccinated against coronavirus, the protection offered by the vaccine has waned over time.

Twenty patients are currently being treated for coronavirus at Famagusta reference hospital, of whom six are in the high dependency unit.

The youngest patient is 43 and the oldest 91, with an average age of 66. Around 74 per cent of the patients are unvaccinated.

In line with the health ministry’s schedule, the hospital has also opened a walk-in vaccination centre for third doses of the anti-Covid vaccine.

The new round of vaccinations began on Wednesday for those aged 86 and older at walk-in centres islandwide pending the reopening of the vaccination portal, which will become available at the beginning of October.

A health ministry announcement said that a total of 475 people over 86 received booster shots in centres islandwide by Wednesday afternoon, in addition to 569 health professionals and those living in nursing homes or belonging to vulnerable groups.

According to the most recent update by the health ministry, 2,793 people have been vaccinated with the third dose, including 1,752 living in nursing homes, 510 health professionals in state hospitals, and 531 people belonging to vulnerable groups who have priority.

The third dose is administered after a minimum of six months from the second dose while those belonging to vulnerable groups can receive the third dose four weeks after the completion of vaccination, the ministry said on Tuesday.

Paphos hospital director Spyros Georgiou told the Cyprus News Agency that as of noon, 29 people had gone to the walk-in centre set up at the hospital for their booster shots.

Both Georgiou and Hadjiyianni said vaccinations continue at a satisfactory pace, urging members of the public who haven’t booked theirs to do so before the winter months.

Hadjyianni added that everyone, vaccinated or not, should continue applying personal protection measures like masks and social distancing.

Meanwhile, mobile testing units visited nine primary schools islandwide, with 1,000 rapid tests turning up three positive cases of coronavirus.