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Malta has widest COVID-19 vaccine reach in EU... or does it?

According to Health Minister Chris Fearne, Malta’s vaccine rollout has so far inoculated no less than 3% of the entire population. This makes the country one of the frontrunners in Europe.

“Whereas other countries have vaccinated 1% of the population. Malta’s percentage stood at 2.7%, and is one of the countries with the highest reach in Europe,” said the Minister on TVM’s current affairs programme Xtra, last night. He added that more than 13,000 people would have received the COVID-19 vaccine by the end of the week. Not to mention that an additional 13,000 Pfizer vaccines have been retained to be able to administer the second dose in 21 days’ time, to those who have already received the first. 

Apart from the Pfizer and BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, which are currently available, Malta would also be benefitting from the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, once the European Medicines Agency approves it, that is. The regulator has set a meeting for the 29 of January, during which the Oxford vaccine is likely to be given authorisation for distribution within the European Union.

When will the whole population be vaccinated?

Well, that one is a little trickier to tell. So far, the target is for September 2021, which is being pegged as the month by when herd immunity would be reached. It has also been indicated that the entirety of the population would be vaccinated by the end of 2021. However, it is important to note that the targets only take into account the availability of the Pfizer and BioNTech and Moderna vaccines. The timeframes may indeed be brought forward when more vaccines become available.

What do you think?