PN General Council president and candidate Mark Anthony Sammut has delivered a stinging rebuke of Malta’s COVID-19 vaccine certificate rules, warning the government cares more about “controlling” people than containing the pandemic.
“The government’s extreme and discriminatory COVID-19 measures are more political than medical,” Sammut wrote on social media.
“Science tells us that we should encourage people to get vaccinated to reduce the risk of medical complications and deaths. One must also accept that there are illnesses for which the state can impose mandatory vaccination for the sake of public health, such as polio, diphtheria and tetanus.”
“However, while the best available science recommends the COVID-19 vaccine, it is not yet recommending making vaccines and boosters obligatory.”
Sammut questioned why Malta’s vaccine certificate rules are stricter than those which apply to the EU digital COVID certificate.
The European Commission has established a binding acceptance period of nine months for certificates following the original vaccine cycle for the purposes of intra-EU travel.
However, Malta’s travel rules state that Maltese vaccine certificates for adults aged 18 or over are only valid for three months for initial vaccine cycles and nine months for boosters. Vaccine certificates of under-18s, who aren’t eligible for the booster, will be based fully on the initial vaccine cycle.
Sammut noted that the European Medicines Agency recently warned that administering booster doses every few months could potentially lead to “problems with immune response”.
Meanwhile, while EU digital COVID certificates are also eligible for people who recovered from the virus for the first six months after a positive PCR test, the first 72 hours after a negative PCR test and the first 48 hours after a negative rapid test, Malta only recognises vaccination.
“People who tested positive for the virus are therefore being forced to get boosted after just one month,” Sammut noted.
The PN candidate argued that if the government was genuine in its intentions, it would have rescinded the Vitals-Steward contract and the €163,000 contract to Foundation for Medical Services CEO and Health Minister Chris Fearne’s chief of staff Carmen Ciantar, and used those funds to bolster the national health services.
“However, it seems the goal is no longer to control the pandemic, which is now under control in countries which haven’t adopted these extreme measures,” Sammut said.
“Their aim is control. They want to know where everyone goes, when and with whom so it can then use this information as, when and against whom it pleases, as it has already done in previous cases.”
“It doesn’t give a toss if people have valid reasons for not taking the booster. It doesn’t care about the problems it created for establishment owners or about people who lost their jobs because of these decisions.”
“The measures should be retracted. That’s why the PN is against them; the balance between public health and individual freedoms has been completely lost.”
Do you agree with Mark Anthony Sammut’s assessment?