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First person in Malta to receive COVID-19 vaccine next Sunday

That’s right – doctors will be administering the very first COVID-19 vaccine next Sunday, the 27 December. The first person to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine will be a nurse, who works at the Infectious Disease Unit (IDU). Other staff working in the emergency ward, ITU, IDU and wards caring for COVID-19 patients, at Mater Dei Hospital, will also be receiving the vaccine next Sunday.

According to the health minister Chris Fearne, the first lot of 10,000 vaccines will arrive in Malta next Saturday, after it was approved by the European Medicines Authority. Next, those who work at Mount Carmel Hospital, Boffa Hospital, and the Good Samaritan Hospital will be vaccinated on 30 December.

Workers and patients at St Vincent de Paule Hospital will then be vaccinated between the 1 and 6 of January, 2021. The next day, letters regarding the vaccination of people aged over 85 will be sent out by the Health Ministry.

In addition, a brand new helpline has been set up by the ministry and therefore, those with vaccine-related concerns can call on 145. Though the vaccine will NOT be mandatory, Fearne called on people to get vaccinated.

Addressing the press conference, public health superintendent Charmaine Gauci said that due to the limits in studies, those under the age of 16 will not be vaccinated. Those who are getting vaccinated are also encouraged to avoid getting pregnant in the months after taking the vaccine.

What about the side effects?

In terms of side effects, Gauci said that the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine’s side effects include slight fever, fatigue and headaches and insisted that they do not last long. She also added that if you were to compare the slight side effects with what COVID-19 can do to a person, the safer choice is the vaccine.

is the vaccine effective?

Dr Michael Borg, who also addressed the conference said that this vaccine is a phenomenal leap in terms of technology as the vaccine contains no trace of the virus in it. It’s also important, he added, that both doses of the vaccine are taken, to ensure that its 95% effective.

What are your thoughts?