Dr Zoe Dorothea Pana, member of the epidemiological team, said on Tuesday that the plans for the distribution of the coronavirus vaccine are being completed, and stressed the importance of vaccination, saying that it constitutes a key pillar of preventive medicine and public health.
Speaking at a press conference with other members of the Scientific Advisory Committee, Dr Pana said that Cyprus is participating in all EU procedures regarding the supply of vaccines and noted that at a local level, the planning for the distribution of the vaccine is being completed.
She noted that two companies have so far pledged to distribute the first doses of the vaccine around mid to end of December. If these vaccines are licensed, she said, then they will be available shortly after. The companies are Astra Zeneca and Biontech/Pfizer. The quantities for Cyprus in December would be 119,204 and 48,955 respectively.
Priority will initially be given to some categories of citizens, while with the increase of the quantities of vaccines the state will be able to expand its vaccination scheme.
According to the European Commission`s guidelines, priority will be given to three categories of citizens, private and public health professionals, adults at higher risk and first-line/essential workers.
Asked if there is a possibility that vaccination becomes mandatory, she said that there has been no discussion on the matter and noted that the aim is to inform about the latest developments in vaccination and for people to realise that they should be vaccinated for their own good and to protect the health of their fellow citizens.
She also referred to the campaign which began last weekend and aims to give support and advise to care homes as regards the health protocols that need to be followed to better limit the spread of the coronavirus.
This programme, she said, began with the participation of volunteer students of Cyprus` medical schools, who last weekend visited care homes in the Nicosia district.