Malta will, like the rest of the European Union, start administering Covid-19 vaccinations in just 10 days, on 27 December, Health Minister Chris Fearne said on Thursday.
He said that the first batches of the vaccine will be available in Malta as from 27 December, although these will initially be small batches.
Speaking to journalists, Fearne said that the vaccination had initially been scheduled to begin on 7 January, but given that the European Medicines Agency had moved its evaluation meeting on the vaccine forward to 21 December, it meant that vaccination could start before the year’s end.
Asked by this newsroom for the government’s early logistical plans for the vaccination, Fearne said that staff at Mater Dei Hospital’s Intensive Therapy Unit and Infectious Diseases Unit will get the jab on the first day, followed by staff at Gozo General Hospital, Mount Carmel Hospital and Primary Care on the second day.[embedded content]
The vaccination will then be rolled out to carers and residents of elderly homes, as per the priority list which has already been outlined by Fearne himself.
Answering another question, Fearne said that so far it seems like the vaccine will work on different strains of Covid-19.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in a tweet earlier that vaccination will start on 27, 28, and 29 December across the bloc.
It’s Europe’s moment.
On 27, 28 and 29 December vaccination will start across the EU.
— Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) December 17, 2020
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) said an expert panel will convene on Monday to evaluate the vaccine made by U.S. company Pfizer and German partner BioNTech.
Pending approval, deliveries will start on December 26 from vaccine production sites in Belgium and Germany but the Commission said it would be up to each of the EU’s 27 states to organise and coordinate their own vaccination programmes.