Cyprus Mail

Coronavirus: Almost 95,000 get a jab in 10 days, vaccines start for 5 to 11-year-olds

children age 5 11 receive vaccination against the coronavirus disease (covid 19)
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday authorized two COVID-19 vaccines for children aged 5 and under, opening the door to vaccinating millions of the country's youngest children./file photo

Saying there is high interest among people to get vaccinated against coronavirus, the health ministry announced on Friday that over 94,500 people had received a jab over the last ten days.

The highest number of daily vaccinations for the second half this year, 12,589, was carried out on Thursday, the ministry said, of whom 10,581 people received the booster dose, 1,049 the first jab, and some 959 people the second.

The interest of the public to receive an anti-Covid jab sends “encouraging messages” since only through the cooperation of residents will the country manage to contain the spread of the virus, the ministry said.

Earlier this week, vaccinations averaged more than 10,000 per day, with the least number of vaccinations administered over the last ten days being Saturday when 5,252 jabs were administered.

The highest interest is recorded among people for the booster jab.

Of vaccinations administered in the last ten days, the majority, 76,245 concerned the booster dose, 8,990 the second and 8,457 the first jab, ministry data showed.

“The health ministry makes every effort to increase staff,” who continuously strive to serve people more effectively, it added.

Meanwhile, the vaccination of children aged 5-11 started on Friday at walk-ins and following scheduled appointments through the vaccination portal. Vaccinations are carried out with the signed consent of both parents or guardians.

Cyprus is the first country to start vaccinating minors of that age group, permanent secretary of the health ministry Christina Yiannaki said at the Centre for maternity protection and child welfare centre at the old Larnaca general hospital.

A total of 130 children of the age group were scheduled to get vaccinated on Friday, while another 350 appointments have been scheduled for the coming days.

“Vaccination started in Larnaca and until 10am, ten vaccines were administered to children,” she said, adding that more children were being vaccinated in other districts.

At the old general hospital of Larnaca, 40 children are scheduled to get vaccinated, 30 at the Limassol general hospital, another 30 at the health centre in Famagusta and 30 at the Paphos general hospital.

On Monday, children aged 5-11 will also be able to receive their anti-covid jabs at the Latsia health centre in Nicosia.

Explaining the importance of vaccinating children, Yiannaki said that “children who came to get vaccinated were very happy but also their parents were very positive”.

The second dose will be administered to children three weeks after the first.

Children under the age of 12 who are administered the jab, receive a small present that includes a Christmas fairytale and two pencils, Yiannaki said.

The health ministry will hold a meeting on Tuesday to discuss the flow of vaccines and decide on the expansion of the operation of vaccination centres.

According to Yiannaki, Cyprus has vaccinated 86 per cent of the adult population with the first dose and 81.2 per cent have been vaccinated with two doses or have completed their vaccination.

“We will continue to do the right thing for the well-understood interest of public health and of our country in general,” Yiannaki said.

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