Despite the decision to proceed with the vaccination of specific population groups with the 3rd dose of the vaccine against COVID-19, the aim of the Vaccination Programme remains the primary vaccination of the entire population over the age of 12.
The vaccination groups that will be given priority to receive the 3rd dose at this stage have been determined by the Council of Ministers and regard:
i. Residents and employees in senior people’s homes
ii. Individuals over the age of 65
iii. Health professionals
iv. Individuals who are immunosuppressed/individuals with
Based on the available data, the administration of the 3rd dose concerns individuals who have completed their vaccination scheme with two doses (individuals who have been vaccinated with Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca). A booster dose is not administered to individuals who have received the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. The 3rd dose will be administered six (6) months after the completion of the vaccination of these individuals with the 2nd dose – that is six months after the administration of the 2nd dose.
Individuals receiving immunosuppressive therapy are exempted. In these cases, the 3rd dose will be administered at least four (4) weeks after the completion of the vaccination with the 2nd dose, and at a time that does not coincide with their immunosuppressive therapy and in compliance with their doctor’s instructions.
The vaccination of individuals who will be given priority to receive the 3rd dose will be carried out gradually, based on the progress of the vaccination process. Vaccination may be possible in more than one group at a time. For each of the above groups the procedure followed during their initial vaccination will be followed, as a basic principle. Specifically:
i. Residents and employees in senior people’s homes:
Mobile units will visit senior people’s homes after consultation with the Heads of Health Visitors of each District.
ii. Individuals over the age of 65:
Arrangement of an appointment through the Vaccination Portal of the Ministry of Health. Each age group will be given priority gradually beginning with the older ages. The outset of the appointment process through the Vaccination Portal, as well as the eligible ages of each stage, will be announced at a later stage.
Regarding individuals aged 65 and under, it is noted that the right to the administration of a 3rd vaccine dose shall be given gradually, at a later stage, after the implementation of the 1st decision of the Council of Ministers, in compliance with the procedures followed by the other member states of the European Union.
iii. Health professionals:
Vaccination upon the arrangement of appointments by groups of health professionals, by health infrastructures, etc. Regarding health infrastructures, priority (if there is such a need) will be given to individuals working in hospitals or wards with COVID-19 patients, and in all ICUs, Accident and Emergency Departments and Ambulance Departments (regardless of COVID hospitalizations). The administration of the 3rd dose will be carried out in hospitals in the same way as the initial vaccination.
iv. Individuals who are immunosuppressed/individuals with immunodeficiency:
This category regards the following groups of patients:
- Those under active therapy for solid malignancy or haematology malignancies
- Those with a history of transplantation of solid organs receiving immunosuppressive therapy
- Those with a history of transplantation of progenitor (stem) haematopoietic organs receiving immunosuppressive therapy
- Individuals with hereditary immunodeficiency
- Individuals with HIV/AIDS
- Individuals receiving immunosuppressive therapy including biological agents. Regarding cortisone intake, it regards to individuals who have received or are receiving a total dose of >10 mg prednisone/day (= 8 mg methylprednisolone) for 1 month in the last six months.
The vaccination of the individuals mentioned in point (iv) above will be carried out gradually, after the arrangement of an appointment by phone.