Chris Fearne

Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister Chris Fearne highlighted how Malta is at the forefront of COVID vaccine roll-out per 100 people within the EU, and that it is “eagerly awaiting the [European Medicine’s Agency] approval of [the] AstraZeneca vaccine this week”.

AstraZeneca would be the third COVID vaccine to gain approval in the European Union, after the EMA received an application for authorisation on 12th January 2021. So far, the Pfizer/BioNtech and the Moderna vaccines are approved for use within the European Union.

In a social media posting on Monday morning, Mr Fearne shared a graph depicting Malta in first place among EU countries for cumulative COVID-19 vaccination doses administered per 100 people, up till 22nd January 2021.

He also quoted Politico which described Malta as the EU’s champion last Friday, saying the island could meet the European Commission’s vaccination target in time if it doubles its number of daily doses.

The European Commission wants 70 per cent of all adults in the EU to get the coronavirus jab by summer.

The local business community is eagerly awaiting Malta’s general population to become vaccinated, in the hopes that consumer confidence will be restored.

In a 2020 round-up by the Malta International Airport, the company’s CEO, Alan Borg, said that a faster vaccine roll-out should complement measures aimed at restoring consumer confidence in order for swift recovery to begin in 2021.

Last week, care home operators highlighted concerns about the speed with which vaccinations were being dished out.

In previous comments to BusinessNow.mt, SME Chamber CEO Abigail Mamo had called for Malta to capitalise on its smaller size and ensure a speedy inoculation of the general public so that it can be competitive with attracting tourism, investment and economic activity in general.

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