Health Minister Chris Fearne has explained how the Maltese government plans to vaccinate as many people as possible against COVID-19 in the coming months, stating the end of the pandemic is in sight.
In Parliament today, Fearne confirmed that Malta is set to receive 1.6 million doses of potential vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca, the three most advanced vaccine candidates.
If the European Medicines Authority approves them as safe and effective, the first batches of Pfizer vaccine are set to arrive at the start of January and the first batches of Moderna vaccine at the start of February. No timeline has been set on the AstraZeneca vaccine but Fearne said the EMA could approve it in February or March.
Healthcare workers, elderly care home staff and residents, mental care home staff and residents and everyone over 85 will be the first to receive the vaccine in January. The second batch will include everyone over 80 and all other front-liners and the third batch will include everyone suffering from chronic illnesses, everyone over 70 and school and childcare centre workers.
@lovinmaltaofficial🚨 Health Minister Chris Fearne has just announced Malta’s COVID-19 vaccine strategy 🚨 Thoughts? ##fyp ##fypmalta ##covid19 ##vaccine ##2021♬ original sound – Lovin Malta
The fourth batch will include everyone over 55 and the fifth one will be open to the general public, with the timeline largely dependent on when the EMA authorises the AstraZeneca vaccine.
It will be free of charge and voluntary, but the Health Department will launch a campaign to encourage everyone to get vaccinated.
“The battle against COVID-19 is a harsh one but there is hope that the end isn’t far away,” Fearne concluded. “Until the end arrives, we must remain responsible and vigilant. The virus is still with us and will remain with us until we vaccinate a substantial percentage of the population.”
What do you make of this announcement?