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New Covid-19 and flu shots available in October

file photo: vaccination clinic at belfast central fire station in northern ireland

The updated Covid-19 vaccine will be offered for simultaneous administration with the influenza vaccine starting in October, health ministry permanent secretary, Christina Yiannaki, announced.

Yiannaki, who heads the national vaccine advisory committee, told the Cyprus News Agency that the ministry’s vaccination plan was complete, and vaccinations are set to begin the first week of October.

This year’s Covid-19 vaccine will be administered alongside the flu vaccine at adult vaccination centres.

“One can simultaneously do the Covid-19 vaccine in one arm and the flu shot in the other arm,” Yiannaki explained.

She clarified that flu vaccines will continue to be offered by personal doctors, for those who do not wish to receive both.

Simultaneous administration is being carried out for the first time in order to strengthen coverage, especially of vulnerable groups, Yiannaki said. The target groups are the over 60s, the immunocompromised, and the chronically ill.

The vaccination scheme’s priority groupings and further details of the plan will be released September 13, including a list of designated vaccination centres.

Cyprus is soon expected to receive the first shipment of the Pfizer monovalent XBB.1.5 vaccine, a total of over 158,000 shots.

“There will be three deliveries of Covid-19 vaccines, with the largest [arriving] in September. The second delivery will take place at the beginning of October and the third at the beginning of November,” the health secretary detailed.

As for the flu shot, 170,000 vaccines are expected this year, Yiannaki said, noting that there are more this year than in previous years, as children and teenagers have also been included in the order.

The flu vaccines will be delivered in three stages with the first two deliveries taking place within September, the health secretary said.

 

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