A number of countries appertaining to the European Union (EU) collectively kicked off their vaccination campaign today in a continental show of unity and hope.
This coordinated rollout was intended to put forward a unified message that the COVID-19 vaccine is indeed safe.
29-year-old nurse Claudia Alivernini was the first person to receive the vaccination at the Spallanzani infectious disease hospital in Rome.
“Today I’m here as a citizen, but most of all as a nurse, to represent my category and all the health workers who choose to believe in science,” Alivernini told Associated Press.
Similarly, this morning, infectious disease unit nurse Rachel Grech was the first Maltese person to be inoculated with the COVID-19 vaccine.
Minutes after receiving the vaccine, Grech encouraged the Maltese public to follow suit.
The vaccine, developed by Germany’s BioNTech and American drugmaker Pfizer, started arriving in super-cold containers at EU hospitals on Friday from a factory in Belgium.
The first consignment of approved COVID-19 vaccines landed in Malta yesterday. The batch included 10,000 doses of the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccines against the virus. As the flight carrying the consignment landed, a number of Maltese soldiers were in the vicinity for extra protection.
In Spain, 96-year-old care home resident Araceli Hidalgo and a caregiver were the first to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
A number of European politicians were amongst the first to receive the vaccine.
Bulgarian Health Minister Kostadin Angelov and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis both got inoculated today in a bid to promote a wider acceptance of vaccinations.