On Monday, Malta’s health authorities said that 313,279 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, of which, 100,686 received their second dose.
Registration of those aged between 40 and 49 opened last Friday, with 31,000 from this age group already registered to receive their vaccine appointment or have already been vaccinated. By the third week of May, vaccination registration for the next age group is expected to open.
According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), Malta currently has the highest rate of full COVID-19 vaccine coverage within the EU.
Up until Sunday, 21 per cent of Malta’s adult population received two doses of the jab. It also noted that 40 per cent of the adult population has received their first dose of the vaccine, placing it second behind Hungary, which registered at 42 per cent.
On Sunday, Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister Chris Fearne said that the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, approved by the European Medicines Agency last week, will start to be administered in Malta in the coming days. The single-dose shot is expected to rapidly speed up the country’s vaccination programme when considering the other three vaccines available, Pfizer, Moderns and AstraZeneca all require two doses.
Malta’s consistently high ranking of vaccine uptake will be met positively by the business community, eager to see economic activity start edging towards pre-COVID levels. The country has targeted 1st June to reopen to international tourism, a highly important sector that thousands of businesses depend on.
With Malta’s position as the EU country with the highest rate of full COVID-19 vaccination coverage, the nation is positioning itself as a strong contender for tourists choosing where to vacation over the summer.
In addition, according to The New York Times, the EU is set to reverse a year-long position of in effect banning non-essential travel between the two continents, as it seeks to allow American tourists who have been fully vaccinated against coronavirus. While the US tourist market is not traditionally a major one for Malta’s economy, the country’s strong vaccination rate could prove to be a selling point for US travellers.
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