Stella Kyriakidou, the EU Commissioner for Health, advised caution as no one knows when the Covid pandemic will end.
 
Although many countries began relaxing protective measures according to their epidemiological situation, “we must continue to be cautious and there must be no complacency,” Kyriakidou said speaking to the press following a visit to the Health Centre in Latsia, Nicosia where, accompanied by Minister of Health Michalis Hadjipantela, she was briefed on the child vaccination programme.
 
Responding to questions, Kyriakidou said she could not speculate on whether the pandemic is edging closer to the end, citing the uncertainty associated with the pandemic.
 
Noting that the EU is monitoring closely the situation, Kyriakidou pointed out that the EU member-states should continue with their vaccination programmes, while the European Commission along with the member-states are examining the preparations that need to be made for the coming months.
 
“We are at the stage of discussions with the member-states for the next phases in the evolution of this pandemic,” she said.
 
Replying to a question on the discussions concerning a fourth booster dose, the EU Commissioner recalled the EMA is not recommending a fourth booster dose among the general population but added that it is up to the member-states to proceed with a fourth dose among vulnerable groups.
 
With regard to booster shots in teenagers, Kyriakidou said EMA is gathering all scientific data, noting that the agency may delay its recommendation beyond February 24, as it awaits additional data for the companies and the member-states.
 
Furthermore, she noted that a stagnation is being registered in child vaccination in all member-states but this is associated with the Omicron variant, as many persons have been infected or are in quarantine because they were contacts of an infected person.
 
She noted that the rate of vaccination under 18 in the EU is 25% calling on every one to proceed with vaccinations.
 
“They should get vaccinated shielding as many citizens as possible because it has been scientifically shown that vaccination and the specific vaccines protect from serious illness and often from death,” she stressed.
 
Kyriakides earlier briefed the Cypriot Minister of Health on the implementation of the European plan against cancer, which began last year.
 
“This year we have announced new actions,” she said, noting that one concerns the vaccination of 90% of young girls and a great number of boys to protect them from the HPV virus by 2030.
 
Kyriakidou added that the programmes announced have a €4 billion budget, noting that she discussed with Hadjipantela on how Cyprus could participate in these actions so it could absorb funds.

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