Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades pointed out the problems the island is faced with because of the slow rollout of COVID vaccines, mainly due to the delays in the production of the pharmaceutical companies with which the EU has signed contracts.

The President participated in a videoconference of the EU leaders Thursday evening whom they discussed the coordinating efforts to contain the pandemic.

In his intervention the President, according to a written statement by the Deputy Government Spokesman Panayiotis Sentonas, thanked the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen and the European Commissioner for Health, Stella Kyriakides for their efforts to fully meet the vaccination needs of all Member States.

He also called on the Commission to continue working intensively to meet the obligations of pharmaceutical companies and to receive increased quantities of vaccines the soonest.

Referring to the vaccination program in Cyprus, the President of the Republic noted that according to the strategy it is expected that by next June 50% of the population will have received the jab, while by September 100% of the citizens who will express the wish to get inoculation, will be covered.

The President also said that the first batch of vaccines was delivered to the Turkish Cypriot community last Monday. He also expressed support to the Greek Prime Minister who proposed the introduction of an EU vaccination certificate, with the aim, as soon as conditions allow, of the gradual lifting of travel restrictions.

The EU leaders agreed that there is a need to step up the inoculations and meet the vaccination targets as soon as possible.

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