Nothing subsides strong concern in Cyprus over the controversial Astrazeneca vaccine against Covid-19 despite the alarmingly rising cases of the virus in recent past days.
The crash on Wednesday of the island’s vaccination portal minutes only after it opened because of the public’s mass preference towards the Pfizer and Moderna jabs came as no surprise.
Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou stressed this during a European Health Ministers’ teleconference on Wednesday evening, adding that the country’s vaccination programme is delayed because of lack of trust towards Astrazeneca.
Nonetheless, EU health authorities have left the decision whether to suspend this jab or not to the governments of member states themselves.
The governments now are confronted with the grimmest of dilemmas whether to push on with a vaccine that is known to save lives or suspend it over reports of dangerous blood clots in a few recipients.
It has created a jagged divide across the globe, forcing politicians to assess the health risks of halting the shots at a time when many countries – especially in Europe – are already struggling to overcome logistical hurdles and vaccine hesitancy among their populations.