Cyprus will begin voluntary Coronavirus vaccination of children over 12 years old next week, authorities said on Friday.
The vaccine shots will be mRNA injections of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.
Cyprus is following the steps of other EU countries like France, Germany and Italy which have begun vaccinating children aged 12 to 15 years, said Health Minister Michalis Hadjipantela.
Vaccination of all children in Cyprus requires the consent of parents and guardians.
As officials stating the average age of infected persons is 28, the minister urges the young people to get the vaccine.
“The world’s scientific community is in unison making it loud and clear that those who haven’t been vaccinated yet are most at risk,” said Hadjipantela.
In Greece, authorities have also scheduled vaccinations for minors aged 12 and older to curb the outbreak caused by the Delta variant.
So far, about 49% of the population and 56% of adults in Greece have been fully vaccinated.
Hwever, critics say that vaccinating children and younger populations in wealthier countries will lead to a further lack of doses in developing countries as they struggle to find enough.
The obligatory display of “SafePass” will be expanded, Hadjipantela announced.
“Safe Pass” is an electronic or paper document certifying whether a person is vaccinated or has been infected in the last six months and shows the PCR test results in the last 72 hours.
“SafePass” is now required in hospitals and residential care facilities as well as all other places like restaurants, bars, clubs, shopping malls and supermarkets.
This measure caused a wave of disapproval among people who considered this an attack on their rights to assembly and free movement.
During protests against the measure, the Nicosia-based Dias Media Group Headquarters was attacked on July 18 resulting in the arrest of 26 people.
Anti-vaxxers have targeted Diaz over what they see as an overly critical stance of their views on Covid-19 vaccines.
Foreigners arriving in Cyprus must do a PCR test no more than a week after their stay.
Travelers who’ve been vaccinated or recovered within the last three months are excluded.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Cyprus witnessed an unprecedented rise in Covid-19 infections.
To date, over 98,000 people have been infected with COVID-19, equal to 10% of the population of the eastern Mediterranean island.
The death toll from Covid-19 is currently at 415, as the increasing strain on the country’s medical system with over 80 people in serious condition.