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‘Our Priority List Is Based On Scientific Advice’: Health Ministry Reacts After Malta’s Customs Officials Remain Waiting For COVID-19 Vaccine

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Malta’s Health Ministry has defended its priority list in the roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines after customs officers questioned why they weren’t included in the cohort of essential workers.

“The vaccination programme is proceeding upon a plan which has been drawn up diligently by the Health Authorities and lauded by the World Health Organisation, according to an order of priority based on scientific evidence,” a spokesperson told Lovin Malta.

“At present, individuals aged between 60 and 79 years of age are being vaccinated, together with the cohorts of vulnerable persons and essential workers,” they said, adding that the general public will be invited to be inoculated shortly.

Lovin Malta spoke to concerned customs officials working on the literal frontlines of the nation – carrying out checks at the airport, seaport, in trailers, cars and ships.

“We don’t want to skip lines but we are only asking to be treated the way soldiers and police are being treated, after all, we work on the front line too,” an official told this newsroom.

“We’ve been meeting the virus first hand at the border since day one.”

Customs officials must still punch into work and mix with potentially infected people, but have yet to receive appointment letters for a vaccine. What’s more, some workers told Lovin Malta they get pay cuts if they need to self-isolate.

As of today, a total of 166,104 vaccine doses have been given out. Nearly 50,000 people have now been fully-vaccinated against COVID-19, marking over 10% of the population.

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Sam is an over-caffeinated artist fighting for a cooler and freer world, one article, song or impromptu protest at a time. Hit her up with thought-provoking ideas or dreams at [email protected] or @princess.wonderful on Instagram.

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