Malta’s COVID-19 vaccination drive has gathered so much speed that the island is about to overtake the United Kingdom, which has been Europe’s undisputed vaccine leader for months.
Recent statistics show that around 48% of the Maltese population has received at least one vaccine dose, just one percentage point behind the UK.
To put it into perspective, Malta was 16 percentage points behind the UK a month ago.
“Half the adults in Malta have been vaccinated at least once, a very good figure which literally places us first in Europe,” Health Minister Chris Fearne said at a press conference today. “The UK was first but we’ll catch up with them today.”
He said that as of yesterday, over 90% of over-60s and 64% of over-50s have been vaccinated.
Meanwhile, 43% of over-40s (around 31,000 people) have either already registered for their vaccination date or have already been vaccinated.
However, Fearne urged people to keep in mind that while Malta is keeping the pandemic until control, the situation is different in several other counties.
He noted that around 900,000 new cases were confirmed globally on Friday, a record single-day rise since the start of the pandemic, largely due to a massive spike in cases in India.
“When you compare Malta to other countries, you’ll notice that we have a measure of success in terms of controlling the pandemic,” he said.