According to Malta’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Health, Chris Fearne, the country’s COVID vaccination rollout will reach an exciting new milestone in the coming hours, as 60 per cent of its adult population will be fully vaccinated.
According to official statistics, a total of 72 per cent of adults have received at least one dose, as the vaccination programme is set to rollout to children aged 12 and over at the end of this month.
As of Monday, 589,507 doses of the vaccine have been administered, with 260,424 people being fully vaccinated.
Speaking in Parliament, Mr Fearne celebrated that Malta is showing itself to be a world leader in terms of its COVID vaccine rollout, but said that this also means that Malta cannot follow other country’s examples in lifting virus restrictions and must exercise caution to make sure it doesn’t make mistakes.
He identified that the only country nearly on par with Malta in terms of its vaccination programme was the UK, but stated that the presence of the Delta variant in the country has caused problems, and led to a rise of new cases in some areas.
Indeed, the presence of the more infectious variant in the UK has been cited by UK politicians as forcing them to extend the country’s lockdown measures passed when they were due to expire next week.
Mr Fearne stated that the lifting of Malta’s COVID measures will need to be gradual, cautious and well-studied, and taken in small steps, with each impact evaluated progressively.
However, Mr Fearne confirmed that plans to ease Malta’s mask rules for fully vaccinated persons as of 1st July remain on track.
The vaccines are working, he said, although he warned that consideration needs to be given towards the impact of new virus variants while also studying the duration of the immunity given by the vaccines.
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