Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou reconfirmed that Cyprus is set for 1.2m doses of coronavirus vaccinations when they are available and that each person will have to be vaccinated.
Interviewed on ANT1 on Monday, Ioannou was asked whether the vaccination will be mandatory – to which he replied simply: “yes.”
Asked whether a person will be able to decline the vaccination, he said it would not be an option.
He did, however, follow up by saying that once 60-70 percent of the population has been vaccinated, it is seen that the entire population has been vaccinated in statistical models.
Health ministry sources told the Cyprus Mail that a change in the law might be necessary to enable such provisions.
They also noted that Cyprus already records a very high number of voluntary vaccinations. Unlike in other countries, the anti-vaccination movement in Cyprus is tiny.
Ioannou emphasized that the timeframe for the vaccine is in no way set in stone. According to the best indicators, the earliest available will be towards the end of 2020 or early 2021.
Cyprus is earmarked to receive 1.2 million doses of any potential vaccine procured by the European Union.
If the situation were to arise where the initial amounts are lower than the 1.2 million, he said some groups would be prioritized – the vulnerable, according to age.
A key point of contention for the health minister on Monday was the public letting its guard down, witnessed most notably in the recent spike in cases in Limassol.
He stressed the point that the public must observe the health guidelines. The protocols and measures currently in place will be around until the vaccine is available, he said.
Ioannou also commented that Cyprus is not a police state, and as such, the authorities are not able to be everywhere at once, which raises the critical role of the public.
Asked whether a decree may be issued, which would make mask use compulsory, he said that it is possible, but further meetings with specialists will be taken into account.
He reiterated that there should be no need for new measures – as the ones currently in place are appropriate – but it requires people to abide and follow the current measures to avoid any stricter measures in the future.
“Why should there be additional measures? Abide by the current ones and there is nothing to worry about,” he said.