Malta is by far the EU member state administering most COVID-19 vaccines per capita, statistics have shown.
As of yesterday, Malta administered 18,930 doses, which would be equivalent to 3.67% of its population.
However, this figure includes both the first and second dose, meaning some vaccinated people appear twice in the data and the actual number of people who received a jab is lower.
Statistics compiled by Our World In Data, a leading global reference point for vaccine data, show Malta has vaccinated 4.2% of its people but that is based on an estimated population of 440,000. The most recent statistics, from July 2020, show Malta’s population has increased to 514,564.
According to Our World In Data’s statistics, this is still a higher rate than other EU member states, with Denmark in second place with a rate of 3.5%, Slovenia third at 2.7% and Spain fourth at 2.5%.
This achievement was recently recognised by Politico, which described Malta as “the EU champion” of vaccinations.
Health Minister Chris Fearne welcomed the results, adding that he’s eagerly awaiting the European Medicines Authority’s approval of the AstraZeneca vaccine this week.
Malta has ordered a million doses of this vaccine. Still, AstraZeneca recently announced it would cut vaccine deliveries to EU member states by 60% in the first quarter of the year due to production problems.
— Chris Fearne (@chrisfearne) January 25, 2021
Analysing the data, Politico predicted that at the current rate, the EU will only be able to vaccinate 70% of its population, the target for herd immunity, by March 2024.
Malta will be the first EU member state to achieve it, but only by May 2022, eight months after the government’s herd immunity target. This target is based on the vaccines produced by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna alone and is expected to be moved forwards if other vaccines are approved by the European Medicines Agency.
Politico predicted that if the island is to meet its target, it will need to ramp up its vaccinations to 2,308 daily doses, up from the current daily average of 1,182.
Globally, Israel is leading the world in COVID-19 vaccinations, with a rate of 41.8%, and is followed by the UAE (25.1%), Seychelles (18.7%) and the United Kingdom (10.1%).