There should be no complacency regarding COVID-19 vaccinations, warned on Thursday European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Cypriot Stella Kyriakides, in remarks at Paralimni.
Kyriakides visited the COVID-19 Reference Hospital, accompanied by Permanent Secretary of the Health Ministry, Christina Yiannaki, where she thanked the staff for their work.
Kyriakides said that more than 70% of the adult population in the EU have been vaccinated with the first dose and 57% with the second, however, there should be no complacency, she added because the Delta variant is prominent in all EU countries.
The Commissioner referred to her meeting with Health Minister Michalis Hadzipantelas. The two examined the vaccination programme in Cyprus and the Commissioner informed him about the course of vaccinations in the EU and the new challenges faced due to the Delta variant.
“The Delta variant is prominent in most EU countries at the moment”, said Kyriakides.
Vaccinations, she added, must continue not only for ourselves but for everyone around us and our families as well as hospital staff who are working daily for the people.
She acknowledged that the majority of COVID hospitalisations are people who have not been vaccinated or have only been vaccinated with the first dose.
The Delta variant, she added, can be transmitted more easily and affects younger people. Being young does not mean you cannot become seriously ill and not need to be hospitalised”, adding that all vaccines are effective against the variant if both doses have been completed.
For this reason, she added, it is very important for all to be vaccinated and when we reach the targets, to continue with personal protective measures.
Asked if we are nearing herd immunity, Kyriakidou said that the higher the percentage of people vaccinated, the more effective the control of the pandemic will be.
As schools and universities are closed, she said there should be a greater push to get as many people as possible vaccinated.
The European Commission, she added, is “moving forward with a new treatment strategy, so that by October we will have approved four effective treatment regimens”. The European Vaccine Strategy has shown that together we are stronger and together we will continue to do so on issues related to therapeutic treatments, she concluded.
On her part, the Permanent Secretary of the Health Ministry said that she informed the commissioner on various issues concerning the Reference Hospital, addng that 1.761 people have been hospitalised. At the moment, there are 68 patients, six of which in the increased care unit. At the Eden Rehabilitation resort in Tersefanou around 1671 patients have received treatment.
She also said that the country’s vaccination programme continues, noting that “today around 72% of the population have received the first dose of the vaccine, ie 526,537 people and 64% the second dose”.
The national vaccination programme, she added, will continue, chaired by the Health Minister.
She also said that hospitals have referred around 150 patients to the private sector for treatment for other ailments ad 23 to ICUs to help the decongestion of state hospital units.