Malta may have just achieved herd immunity with almost 303,000 people receiving at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
According to the latest figures, 474,475 doses have been administered – 302,955 of which are first doses, while 180,243 are fully vaccinated. For herd immunity to be reached, 70% of the adult population would need to have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. The latest figures indicate that we have surpassed that threshold.
Deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne and Superintendent of Public Health Charmaine Gauci announced a 2pm press conference soon after the figures were published.
According to the latest available statistics compiled by the National Statistics Office, there were 514,564 people living in Malta at the end of December 2019. Of these, 441,186 are aged 16 and over and are therefore eligible to receive the vaccine.
Based on these figures, over 68% of the eligible population has received one dose of the vaccine. However, it does not take into account the increase in population since then. Sources have suggested Malta has passed 70%.
According to the European Commission, all member states should have vaccinated a minimum of 70% of the entire adult population by summer. Malta, who had once predicted it would reach herd immunity by September, may have already reached the target.
A number of vaccines are currently being distributed across the nation including Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson.
Malta has begun removing restriction measures as cases continue to drop in light of the country’s impressive vaccination campaign. However, questions remain surrounding the government’s policy surrounding mass events, parties, DJs, and mask-wearing.
Vaccination appointments can be booked either by sending an SMS or through the government’s online portal, with the latter method being the authorities’ preferred method, Fearne said.
Those wishing to register by SMS for an appointment in Malta should send an SMS to 99180044. Those wishing to get vaccinated in Gozo must send an SMS to 99180045.
The online system can be accessed at http://vaccin.gov.mt and will allow users to choose which region of Malta and Gozo they can be vaccinated in.
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