[WATCH] Seasonal influenza vaccine available for free in every town from October

Health Minister says that 200,000 seasonal influenza vaccines will start arriving from tomorrow and centres will be set up in every town to inoculate people

The health authorities are urging people to take the seasonal flu vaccine this year
The health authorities are urging people to take the seasonal flu vaccine this year

Seasonal influenza vaccines will be administered for free in special centres that will be set up in every town, Health Minister Chris Fearne said.

The government has procured 200,000 influenza vaccines with the first batch of 15,000 expected to arrive tomorrow, he added.

Fearne was speaking in a recorded interview for TVM’s Xtra Sajf that will be broadcast this evening.

The minister urged people to take the influenza vaccine this year as the health authorities try to stave off the impact of the seasonal flu at a time when the world is still grappling with COVID-19.

The symptoms of seasonal flu are very similar to those of COVID, which may cause testing hubs to be overwhelmed. Apart from this, reducing the possibility of hospital admissions because of the influenza will lessen the burden on medical resources.

Fearne said by 11 October, the influenza vaccine will start being administered for free to everyone who asks for it in specialised centres that will be set up in every town. The centres will be open every day.

Fearne said the government had ordered 300,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine when this becomes available, with the possibility of going up to 500,000. "Malta will be one of the first countries to receive the coronavirus vaccine when it is available," he said.

In the interview, he also addressed the increase in coronavirus cases, especially the outbreaks in several homes for the elderly.

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