Whether or not Malta will offer people a fourth dose of the COVID-19 vaccine all depends on how the virus mutates in the coming months, the country’s Chief Medical Officer has declared.
“Science and COVID-19 itself will decide whether we’ll give people a vaccine every year, every six months or every four months because it all depends on how the virus mutates,” Walter Busuttil said on ONE TV’s show ONE Breakfast yesterday.
“I’d rather we don’t give the fourth dose seeing as how many resources and effort it took to convince people to get the booster.”
“However, if you’re diabetic you know that insulin shots only work for a few hours after which you’ll have to take the next shot. No one says they don’t want another injection because they got their last dose six hours ago; if you want to get over diabetes you’ll have to take it.”
“The same will apply for boosters. COVID-19 will decide and then science will facilitate, such as how insulin doses can now be taken daily instead of three or four times a day. Science is trying to give a vaccine every year.”
Busuttil was cautiously optimistic about the future of the pandemic though, stating it could end up morphing into an epidemic like influenza, whereby it will spread across different countries and regions at different times of the year.
He said that while Malta is moving towards a state whereby the virus can be treated like other illnesses, the country’s limited health resources force it to be more cautious than other nations.
“The UK has hundreds of hospitals, so if one of them closes down, patients can be transferred to another hospital. However, Malta only has one hospital and resources are what they are.”
“Some countries, like the UK and Ireland, have now removed practically all restrictions and we have the advantage of being able to watch them, see what’s happening and see when the right time will be for us would be to follow suit.”
“Other countries have more resources to cater for a sudden rise of patients but Malta doesn’t so we must be more cautious.”
What do you make of Walter Busuttil’s comments?