Von der Leyen’s message to young people to be vaccinated: Vaccines are safe and protect against mutations

European President Ursula von der Leyen urged young people to be vaccinated in the fight against coronavirus, noting that vaccines are effective, as evidenced by clinical trials, while noting that vaccines also protect against mutations.

Ms von der Leyen was speaking at the University of Cyprus during a public consultation with the President of the Republic Nicos Anastasiades.

The two visited the University of Cyprus this morning, where the handover ceremony of the Approval of the Recovery and Resilience Plan for Cyprus took place.

Ms von Der Leyen said the Delta mutation is very easily transmitted, but the elderly population and the vulnerable have been very much vaccinated, noting that more than 65% have been vaccinated in Cyprus.

He stressed, however, that protection rules must be respected, such as mask use, distance keeping and hygiene rules.

He also said that in the medium and long term the EU has a large contract with a vaccine company and a new vaccine for new vaccinations could be developed if needed.

Finally, he urged young people to be vaccinated.

In another question, President Anastasiades said, among other things, that Cyprus has experienced an unprecedented disaster with the recent fires, noting that “already, our efforts are focused on measures to prevent such disasters and to strengthen our ability to respond immediately”.

He added that the competent authorities incorporated in their plans the issue of promoting investments to upgrade our fire response capabilities with a faster and more effective response, and noted that one of the projects concerns the purchase of equipment, as well as training programmes.

As he said, the investment includes the purchase of a firefighting plane on the basis of the needs of the Republic of Cyprus and another aircraft will be purchased through state resources.

Mrs von der Leyen also said that the EU has a very ambitious plan in terms of transport, digitisation and smart connectivity, issues that are the future, as well as issues relating to alternative fuel sources, with a view to environmental protection and green development.

Asked about the motivations that will emerge from the Research Recovery Plan, President Anastasiades referred to the remarkable achievements of the Cyprus research community, adding that the Centre of Excellence has a key role to play in the fields of research and innovation, as well as supporting other actors to participate in social change that will lead the country to a green and competitive economy.

He added that the Plan would increase research and innovation activities and provide an opportunity to create new jobs in these sectors.

Asked, Ms von der Leyen stressed, among other things, the enormous importance that the EU attaches to education, and to the alliance of European universities.

Finally, it stated that the Cyprus Recovery Plan is the 15th in a row approved by the Commission.