A third dose of the COVID vaccines for the elderly and the vulnerable groups is the only way forward, Professor of Microbiology/Molecular Virology at the University of Nicosia Medical School, Petros Karayiannis told the Cyprus News Agency, on Wednesday.
Karayiannis, who is member of the scientific committee on the pandemic, said that the European Medicines Agency (EMA) might take weeks to reach a final decision on the issue and therefore we need to act before we have a new outbreak in the Autumn.
He explained that the scientific committee has made recommendations to the Health Ministry for the third dose and what is now needed is for a political decision to be taken.
Karayiannis also said that based on data from the UK and Israel, the third dose is necessary. He said that the Israeli authorities have administered more than a million doses to adults over 40 and the immunisation of people getting the third dose is increased rapidly and sometimes offering four times more protection to these groups that to those those who were inoculated with only 2 doses. In addition it protects six times more from hospitalisation.
Dr Karayiannis was asked about the decision taken by the Cyprus University of Technology to permit only vaccinated students or those who have already been infected with COVID to be present in classes. He said that he would rather not make a statement and that he prefers to wait for all the universities to decide on the matter.