The Parliamentary Health Committee was briefed on the vaccination planning for the COVID-19 pandemic by Deputy Director of Medical Services Olga Kalakouta, as well as on the safety of vaccines and the effort to supply more vaccines, while members of the Parliamentary Committee expressed both for the safety of the vaccines and for their adequacy to implement the vaccine design developed.
The Chairman of the Health Committee, Costas Konstantinou, stated to KYPE that Ms. Kalakouta analyzed in detail the procedure followed regarding the supply of vaccines, their transport and management and their distribution to citizens and patients.
Mr. Konstantinou said that the process of distribution of vaccines has been explained to the Health Committee, which is proportional based on the priorities that have been decided, with the first priority of vaccination in the group of elderly over 80 years and the health care providers.
The Chairman of the Health Committee also said that the program to be followed by the Ministry of Health for the distribution of vaccines to the citizens based on the new vaccine supplies has been explained to the Committee. He added that an effort would be made as far as possible and where possible, through the EU procurement process, to secure a larger number of vaccines.
Through the discussion held in the Health Committee, it was clear that some problems had arisen and that there were some deviations through the procedure that was followed, but he noted that it did not seem to be to the extent that they should be concerned.
“It is important that errors are identified, efforts are made to improve and minimize omissions or micro-errors that were made,” he added.
It is the wish of all to have patience, the citizens and all of us to respect the decrees and procedures followed both on a personal and collective level as this must be done for the public interest and the good of each of us.
Asked if MPs or parliamentary parties had expressed concerns about the immediate, medium or long-term safety of nucleic acid (mRNA) vaccines or any side effects that could be caused immediately, in the medium or long term, he said. There were no side effects or effects on those who were vaccinated, adding that the answer given to the Health Committee was that there were no serious problems, just some allergic reactions in a small number of vaccinated people that were not a cause for concern, but on the contrary there seemed to be assimilation and acceptance. .
The Chairman of the Health Committee further stated that some concerns and questions were raised regarding the design and vaccination centers in remote areas. He cited the fact that some people were called and had to go from Polis Chrysochous to Kyperounta for vaccination and added that this is recorded in the system errors that were identified, highlighted and improved.
Questions are raised about the vaccination planning for the treatment of covid-19, said after the meeting of the Parliamentary Committee on Health, AKEL MP, George T. Georgiou, while expressing satisfaction for the information, “the over-effort” and special thanks to all health professionals , “The heroes of the front line”.
“The briefing raises a number of questions, for which the Ministry of Health and the Government are called upon to answer,” he said, wondering “why the National Vaccination Committee did not meet and take part in the planning, what were the expediencies”.
“Because the Ministry of Health does not provide data on the number of people being vaccinated, because of this lack of transparency,” he continued. He also wondered why there was “so much delay in receiving the vaccines, how people would be vaccinated to achieve immunity, when we were told that the vaccination would go on until the autumn”.
“What are the reasons and expediencies that we can not get vaccines from other countries,” he said, referring to “amateur tactics of registering the elderly overnight on the relevant online platform.” “What does it mean for anyone to catch up?” And why should elderly people be sent from one end of Cyprus to the other to be vaccinated? “How much inconvenience,” he said.
He also wondered what happens to the 70-80 year olds, what planning is done with the rest of the health professionals, our vulnerable fellow human beings, the kidney patients, the cancer patients to state that “unfortunately there is no plan”.
He also said that the health certificate discussed in the European Union and the compulsion to be vaccinated is a violation of the freedoms and human rights of citizens.
“AKEL calls on the Ministry of Health to proceed with a comprehensive study and planning, utilizing the entire scientific community. “Let everyone take their responsibilities, both the Government and the Ministry of Health, and inform the citizens in a coordinated and transparent manner,” he concluded.
DIKO MP Charalambos Pittokopitis told KYPE that his party expressed concerns and conveyed the anxieties of the people, as it is found that the vaccination program is not progressing to the level it should have been.
“We see that the flow of vaccines from abroad to the Republic of Cyprus is moving at a tortoise pace and very slowly and the goals set by the Ministry of Health for vaccinating a sufficient number of the population by the summer are not expected to be met.”
Asked if DIKO is satisfied with the safety of vaccines and the fact that they contain mRNAs or continue to be questioned, Mr. Pittokopitis said that questions exist, were raised during the meeting of the Health Committee and the competent experts assure that all measures are taken and there is no cause for concern.
“We will continue to monitor the issue,” he added.