The coronavirus vaccination programme in the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus (TRNC) continues to progress, with those aged 55-to-65 next in line for inoculation from the deadly virus.
The TRNC received 2,000 Astra Zeneca Covid-19 vaccination jabs last Thursday, 18 Feb, as part of a larger batch sent to Cyprus by the European Union.
TRNC Health Ministry staff collected the vials of vaccines at the Metehan / Agios Dometios checkpoint in Lefkoşa. The drop-off was arranged through Cyprus’ Bi-communal Technical Committee on Health.
The committee’s Turkish Cypriot co-chair Dr. Cenk Soydan said the Astra Zeneca jabs were earmarked for people aged between 55 and 65, with the second doses to be delivered at a later date.
Dr. Soydan added that the EU are also sending North Cyprus rapid test kits, to be also delivered via South Cyprus.
The EU’s 2,000 Astra Zeneca doses are in addition to the 4,500 Pfizer-BioNTec vaccines it sent to Turkish Cypriots last month.
While welcomed by the Turkish Cypriot authorities, the EU’s vaccination contribution is dwarfed by Turkey’s Covid-19 support for the TRNC.
Over the past six weeks, Turkey has sent Turkish Cypriots 80,000 Sinovac vaccinations, bringing the total number of coronavirus jabs received by the TRNC to date to 86,500.
The TRNC is seeking at least 400,000 doses for its population and it’s not clear how much of that will come from the EU.
According to a report in the Cyprus Mail, the Bi-communal Technical Committee on Health had relayed the needs of North Cyprus to the Greek Cypriot authorities, which had factored in Turkish Cypriots when ordering 1.2 million doses.