Silently but surely, it seems as though Malta has found itself at the front of the pack in what is being described as a worldwide COVID-19 “vaccination race”.
Since starting its inoculation campaign last weekend, Malta has vaccinated 1,400 people against the coronavirus, around 0.29% of its population, the Health Ministry confirmed with Lovin Malta.
This places the island well above the world average – according to data collated by Our World in Data, a collaboration between Oxford University and an educational charity, 0.13% of the planet’s population have been vaccinated so far.
Israel is leading the charge by a clear distance, having already vaccinated over a million people as of Saturday, 11.55% of its population. It’s followed by Bahrain (3.49%), the United Kingdom (1.47%) and the United States (0.84%).
Malta is currently inoculating people with a vaccine produced by Pfizer and BioNTech, the only COVID-19 vaccine approved by the European Medicines Agency so far.
This vaccine relies on two doses, given more than a week apart, and no one in Malta has yet been administered with their second dose.
Malta is currently vaccinating healthcare workers, elderly care home staff and residents, mental care home staff and residents and everyone over 85.
The second cohort will include everyone over 80 and all other front-liners, the third will include everyone suffering from chronic illnesses, everyone over 70 and school and childcare centre workers, the fourth everyone over 55 and the fifth the general public.
Health Minister Chris Fearne has said the island should reach herd immunity by next summer, while Prime Minister Robert Abela has promised that life will return to ‘business as usual’ by May.