UPDATED: PM announces that 80,000 further vaccine doses have been purchased from Moderna costing €2 million

The Prime Minister, Robert Abela, has announced that The Cabinet has approved the purchase of a further 80,000 vaccine doses from Moderna at a cost of €2 million. While addressing Parliament this evening, the PM also pointed out that yesterday a further 14.040 doses of the vaccine had been received from Pfizer/BioNTech.

He highlighted that throughout the EU, Malta is in top position in the rate of vaccine inoculation and stressed this was not a coincidence but because of the clear plan that Government has and is following. He added the Government is determined to intensify the vaccine roll-out in order to speed up the rate of economic recovery in the fastest time possible.

Referring to the virtual meeting of EU Council Members last Thursday, Dr Abela explained that among other matters, a vaccination certificate was discussed and EU Leaders had agreed that a “proof of vaccination” is needed and this should be the same in all countries.

He said in this regard he has written to EU Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, because he believes such a certificate will be a tool that will make people movement more possible.

Regarding restrictions, the PM said the measures issued by the Health Authorities are resulting in calibrated results while emphasising that a lockdown will not be imposed.

He further maintained that measures are to be announced to create a balance between health and the economy so that from 1st March the country will take the road of a return to normality as quickly as possible.

The Leader of the Opposition says Government should be more transparent in its work connected to Covid

Meanwhile the Leader of the Opposition and the Nationalist Party said the Government needs to be more transparent in its work connected to Covid because of the current pressure on health services.

Dr Grech said the announcement of further measures contrast greatly to the former message of the Prime Minister regarding Covid and said the Opposition is against a lockdown but measures need to be introduced to improve existing controls.

The Opposition Leader said the Opposition agrees that efforts should be made to increase the inoculation rate and asked why the Government is not using dispensaries in giving inoculations.

Dr Grech said that where the distribution of vaccines is concerned, he agrees with the stance adopted by the EU Council.

If the AstraZeneca vaccine is delayed there is still enough vaccine doses for all – Deputy Prime Minister

The Deputy Prime Minister, Chris Fearne, also speaking in Parliament, said that if the AstraZeneca experiences delays in reaching Malta there will still be enough doses purchased from Pfizer and Moderna to inoculate the whole of Malta and Gozo.

Health Minister Fearne said that as from next week, non-medical frontliners such as Police, the Armed Forces and Civil Protection Department personnel will be inoculated.