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Cyprus's cabinet all receive AstraZeneca shots to win over public

Thu 15th April, 2021 10:30am
NICOSIA, April 15 (Reuters) - Cyprus's entire cabinet was
inoculated with the AstraZeneca  AZN.L  vaccine against COVID-19
on Thursday in an attempt to win over a cautious public on the
safety of the shots.
    Some countries have limited use of the AstraZeneca vaccine
to certain age groups or have suspended the doses altogether
after European Union and British regulators confirmed possible
links to rare blood clots. 
    Eight ministers, two deputy ministers and three other senior
officials received AstraZeneca shots at a vaccination centre in
the capital Nicosia. 
    "We want to send a strong message that what is important is
the vaccination, and not the vaccine itself," said Cypriot
President Nicos Anastasiades, who received a shot of the
Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in January. Two other members of the
cabinet had been inoculated previously based on their age.
    Like some other EU countries, Cyprus temporarily halted
AstraZeneca vaccinations in mid-March but resumed them shortly
afterwards after the European Medicines Agency said the benefits
of the shot far outweighed the risks.
    However, there have been widespread reports of a slower
take-up of the vaccine in favour of the other shots available,
made by Pfizer and Moderna.
    At the present rate, Cyprus can expect to have vaccinated
70% of its population by the end of June, therefore acquiring
herd immunity, Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou said. 
    Cyprus has to date reported 53,254 cases of COVID-19 and 277

 (Reporting By Michele Kambas
Editing by Gareth Jones)
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