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Malta to offer COVID-19 booster shots to all

Malta to offer COVID-19 booster shots to all

That’s right, everyone! Malta is set to offer the COVID-19 booster shot to all those aged 12 and over, said health minister Chris Fearne today. During a news conference, the minister announced the news, along with the fact that the country registered 40 new cases today, the highest daily tally in six weeks.

As it stands, the booster shot is being rolled out to those aged 70 and over. The government, however, plans on offering it to teachers and healthcare workers this coming Monday, as the schedule has been brought forward by a week. Those aged 60 and over will be offered the booster as of 6 December and the over 45s will be invited to take the shot as of the first week of January. With regards to those younger than 45, a timeline has not been specified as of yet.

“We have made the decision to give the booster to everyone. The decision to start giving a booster was the right one because immunity is waning and so the booster is crucial,” said Fearne.

Are we losing control of the situation?

There are currently nine COVID-19 patients who are being treated in hospital, which includes three in the ITU. Fearne stressed that while case numbers were increasing, as the number of active cases in Malta stands at 298, the situation in the hospital remains stable.

That being said, the minister reminded the public that hospital and ITU cases tend to rise three weeks after the community spread and though the situation is still under control, “we have to remain vigilant.”

Are we losing control of the situation?

Chris Fearne confirmed that the only variant in Malta at the moment is the Delta variant. So far, the country has not seen any cases of the Delta Plus variant. In addition, there are three main clusters: two from workplaces with 25 cases and with eight and a smaller cluster at a childcare centre, with six cases.

On Wednesday 5 November, it was announced that the proportion of COVID-19 cases imported from outside Malta had increased and now accounts for a third of all reported infections, the latest data showed. Superintendent of public health Charmaine Gauci confirmed that while the numbers remained low overall, a growing number are among people who have recently arrived in Malta.

What do you think of the situation in Malta? 

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