The extent of coronavirus transmission in Cyprus may be slowing down, with government officials citing a recent decline in hospitalizations while still urging the public to remain vigilant.
According to officials from the State Health Services Organization, there has been a decline in Covid-19 cases as well as admissions in state hospitals.
Amalia Hadjiyianni, the SHSO medical director for Famagusta/Larnaca state hospitals, said there were only 20 infected patients at the referral hospital in Famagusta, six of whom were receiving treatment around the clock.
While the health ministry has barred officials from disclosing detailed data including vaccination status for patients and virus-related deaths, the percentage of unvaccinated patients in the referral hospital dropped down to 74% according to Hadjiyianni.
“Lately there has been a decline of the virus, resulting in fewer admissions in public hospitals,” the official said on Wednesday.
But Hadjiyianni also called on member of the public to remain vigilant ahead of the flu season, adding that walk-in vaccination centers were now open for a third or booster shot for the elderly, currently serving those aged above 85.
“The booster dose seems to be necessary because as for all vaccines, the immunity period decreases and requires a repeated dose to protect the elderly,” she said, adding that this was important because of the upcoming winter season.
This brought up the question of flu shots in local media, with reports saying people were wondering whether both COVID and flu shots could be administered together.
Health expert Zoi Dorothea Pana, who sits on the government’s pandemic advisory committee, said both shots would be necessary for people who need the protection, adding that while the two vaccines can be given together, it is preferable to be given at least a week apart.
"There is no scientific evidence to suggest it is not a good idea to get both COVID and flu shots at the same time,” Pana told state radio on Wednesday morning.
The expert went on to explain that the two shots could not in any way affect each other but people need to take the jabs at least a few days apart in order to be able to tell which vaccine may be responsible in the event of experiencing side effects.
Flu and coronavirus share a lot of similar symptoms including fever and chills, cough, fatigue, and sore throat, while a reported loss of sense of taste last year by those infected with the Covid bug was never associated with the influenza virus according to publicly available health reports.
“Vaccination continues normally and satisfactorily, but everyone, vaccinated or not, should observe personal hygiene and take protective measures, such as wearing masks and maintaining social distance wherever they are,” Hadjiyianni said.
No changes are expected this month or early October regarding current health measures according to Kathimerini Cyprus.