The health ministry has announced the rollout on Thursday of the new Novavax Covid-19 vaccine for those aged 18 and over.

The new vaccine, Nuvaxovid BBB.1.5, is a protein-based vaccine, unlike Moderna’s and Pfizer’s mRNA vaccines, and is based on a more traditional approach, more like the Hepatitis B vaccine.

According to the journal Scientific American, a study in October this year found that the Novavax booster was about 55 per cent effective at preventing Covid symptoms and 31 per cent effective at preventing infection, which is similar to the efficacy of the mRNA vaccines, it said.

The health ministry said Nuvaxovid can be given as a basic course of vaccination or as a booster dose. It is recommended for people 18 years of age and older who have had a basic course consisting of an mRNA vaccine or adenovirus vector vaccine, such as AstraZeneca’s or Johnson & Johnson’s.

People who wish to be vaccinated with the Nuvaxovid can sign up at vaccination centres operating in all districts but only by telephone appointment.

To make an appointment, people should contact Nicosia at 22575070, Limassol at 25804101, Kyperounda at 25829031, Larnaca at 24818047, Paphos hospital at 26803370, Polis at 26803246, and Famagusta at 23200063. ID will be required.

For people who have previously been vaccinated, the new jab can be given five months after the last vaccination. A minimum three-month interval is required after testing positive for Covid. Anyone who wishes to be vaccinated with the Covid vaccine or on the same day as the flu vaccine can be served at the vaccination centres.

Vaccination of those not entitled to Gesy services but who belong to high-risk groups will be vaccinated free of charge for Covid. Gesy beneficiaries can receive the flu vaccine from their personal doctor.

According to the latest figures contained in the just-released EU health report, although vaccination coverage in Cyprus was high to begin with, “sustaining good vaccination coverage to limit infections has proved more challenging.” It said that only 27 per cent of people aged 60 and over requested the third dose booster that was rolled out last year.