President George Vella received the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine on Tuesday, and appealed for the public to follow his example when it is their turn.
Speaking before receiving the vaccine, Vella said that he was taking the vaccine because he had been offered the vaccine by the Health Ministry, but also because he has confidence and no doubt whatsoever about the effectiveness of the vaccine.
Vella, himself a family doctor by profession, noted that he was confident because he knows that the vaccine is from a reputable pharmaceutical company, with renowned research backing it up, and with the approval of European health authorities.
The President called on the public to take the vaccine when it is their turn to do so, and to ignore the many negative and scaremongering stories doing the rounds, as their intention is only to scare people away from getting the vaccine.
“It is in the interest of our health – we know how much it saddened us to lose members of our elderly and we would be stupid if we allow the only thing we can take to fight this pandemic be rebuffed by arguments which have no truthful basis”, he said.
The President said that the public should take the vaccine not just for themselves, but also for those around them. By not taking the vaccine, they can be a danger to those around them anyway and he noted that the aim of medical practitioners with any illness is to vaccinate enough people to achieve herd immunity.
He made one final appeal for the public to get vaccinated when they can.
The President is the highest profile figure to receive the vaccine in Malta so far as the country enters its second full week of its vaccination programme.
It is a programme which has so far attracted some criticism for the pace at which it is going, with medical unions in particular such as the MUMN and MAM lamenting at what they have called the slow pace of the vaccinations.
However, Health Minister Chris Fearne told Times of Malta that the government will make the vaccination available to the general public by the beginning of May, and that Malta should achieve herd immunity by the summer.
Photo: Office of the President