Extension of measures against the spread of COVID-19 – Vaccination with booster dose for people 50 and over and with severe obesity

The extension of the measures against the spread of COVID-19, as well as the extension of the age limit for vaccination with booster dose to 50 years and in people with severe obesity, was decided today by the Council of Ministers, following a proposal presented by the Minister of Health Mr. Michalis Hadjipandela and announced here.

The Council of Ministers studied the epidemiological data as they have been formed in recent days, and took into account the fact that the scientific community in Cyprus and internationally believes that in the near future great care is needed to avoid a new outbreak. As Mr. Hadjipandella noted, the epidemiological picture is already deteriorating in many European countries, forcing states to reinstate severely restrictive measures.

Following these data, but also to give time for monitoring and re-evaluation of the epidemiological picture, the Council of Ministers approved the extension of the existing measures until December 2, 2021.

In addition, on the recommendation of the majority of the members of the Scientific Advisory Committee, the Council of Ministers approved the proposal to reduce the age limit for granting a supplementary dose to persons aged 50 and over, provided that six months had elapsed since the initial vaccine regimen. According to the data, the position that the administration of the booster dose should be gradually extended to the general population is increasingly strengthened, since it is observed that,  after a certain period of time from the completion of the initial vaccination regimen, immunity decreases and there is a gradual decrease in the effectiveness of the vaccine against disease and hospitalization.

Finally, the Council of Ministers approved the proposal for inclusion in the vulnerable groups that have priority for vaccination with booster dose of people with severe obesity (people with BMI> 40, or BMI> = 35 and metabolic syndrome) regardless of age, who were vaccinated in first phase of the National Vaccination Program. A prerequisite for booster vaccination is that six months have elapsed since the initial vaccination was completed.

It is clarified that the Ministry of Health will inform in the coming days about the procedure to be followed for the administration of the supplementary dose to people aged 50 and over and to people with severe obesity.