42% of adults have received a first vaccination dose

Today’s vaccine inoculations mean that now more than a quarter-of-a-million doses have been administered throughout the country. During today’s media conference from the OPM at Castile, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Health, Dr Chris Fearne, said that 42% of adults in Malta have been administered the first dose while schools will reopen with 86% of teachers and staffs having received their first dose.

Prime Minister Dr Robert Abela said the country is among the world’s foremost countries in fighting the pandemic in the best manner possible. He said that a reduction of measures is giving priority to health, education and the elderly, he appealed to all not to ease up on the restrictive measures that will remain still in place.

While acknowledging his appreciation for the committed work of frontliners in fighting the pandemic, the PM insisted that all continue to make the required sacrifices for the country to emerge from the current situation. Dr Abela said the commercial sector should rest assured the Government will continue giving the support needed while they continue making their sacrifice for a few more weeks.

In a few more weeks when they will be able to resume, the public will start receiving their second round of vouchers, that is, vouchers valued at €45 million, for this sum to be spent in commercial spheres.

Health Minister Chris Fearne said the number of patients recovering at Mater Dei Hospital by mid-March was 140 but by yesterday this number has been reduced to 41. In IT units by mid-March there were 31 persons but this has been reduced to eight still Covid infected, while a further seven have survived from Covid but are still receiving the required treatment. In Gozo, five persons were in ITU at mid-March but up to yesterday only one person was still there.

Minister Fearne said that to-date 42% of adults in the country have received at least a first dose. Teachers and school staffs have received 21,000 invitations to be vaccinated and of these, 18,200 have already done so, meaning 86% have already received a first dose.

He said that in its vaccination programme the country is better placed than at first forecast. He said that a few days before the end of April vaccinations will have been provided for all those aged over 60 as well as all vulnerable persons. That will be followed by a further phase in a different format.

This will mean that instead of invitations being sent there will be different age groups and these will be posted online to enable a person to apply.

The Superintendent for Public Health, Professor Charmaine Gauci, said that all decisions have been taken on a scientific basis and are being constantly monitored in an ongoing situation.

She said that if measures are relaxed and this results in an increase of infection cases and more hospital entries, particularly in ITU, the Authorities will act as necessary and once more return to restriction measures.

She said all recommendations have been based on an assessment based on social distancing among others, including whether an event is outdoors as well as the wearing of face masks.