The first shipment of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine has arrived in Malta, Air Malta has announced.
It arrived in Malta during the early hours of the morning following a flight from Brussels.
Over the past few months, Air Malta has carried more than 2,600 tonnes of cargo between import, export and transit shipments which included medicine, vaccines, personal protective equipment, microelectronics, mail and perishables.
The airline, through its cargo section, also organised special freighter charters for the Maltese Government to carry hundreds of tonnes of additional medical supplies, radioactive material required for several treatments at Mater Dei Hospital, and other lifesaving medication.
Air Malta’s Executive Chairman, David G. Curmi, said: “We are thrilled to be part of this global effort to transport this vaccine and help our Islands achieve immunity against this disease which has caused so much suffering to the world’s population. COVID-19 has thrown the air transport industry into a deep crisis, but the industry will ultimately be the main driver to help end this pandemic. Air Malta will continue being of strategic importance to the Islands by stepping up and offering support when the need arises.”
In a post on Twitter, Deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne thanked the airline for the assistance in the operation.
Malta has so far secured 770,000 doses of vaccines that have been approved by the European Medicines Agency, 670,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and 100,000 of the Moderna jab.
It has also ordered several more doses of potential vaccines, including a million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which has been approved by the UK and India but not by the EU.
Malta expects to achieve herd immunity, equivalent to the inoculation of 60-70% of people, by the end of September, based on the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines alone.
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