NICOSIA — Cyprus says it will receive the first batch of the coronavirus vaccine produced by BioNTech and Pfizer on Dec. 26 and will begin administering it the following day.
Cyprus’ Health Ministry said on Tuesday that Cyprus will receive a little over a quarter of the total amount of the vaccine apportioned under the European Union’s timetable to it within the first three months of next year.
The ministry estimates that 8,000 people — including residents and staff at nursing homes and health professionals working at hospitals treating COVID-19 patients — will be first to be vaccinated.
Meanwhile, Health Minister Costantinos Ioannou said on Tuesday that high rate of coronavirus infections and hospitalizations across the island nation of 900,000 people doesn’t warrant a substantial relaxation of restrictions that include a night-time curfew extending to Jan 10.
But citing the public’s psychological fatigue with restrictions, Ioannou said the government would push back curfews on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve by a couple of hours. He also said a ban on worshippers at churches would be partially lifted only on Christmas Day and for the Jan. 6 Epiphany Day.