Deputy PM says COVID-19 vaccine will be available by end of 2020

Health Minister Chris Fearne says once vaccine is made available Malta will be among the first to receive it • Bernard Grech says opposition will continue to constructively criticise government measures  

Health minister Chris Fearne
Health minister Chris Fearne

Deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne has reiterated that a COVID-19 vaccine will be available by the end of the year.

Fearne was speaking during Ministerial Statement in Parliament.

He said that Malta currently has agreement with medical companies AstraZeneca, Sanofi and Johnson & Johnson. The agreement will see Malta receiving a stock of vaccines once it is made available.

He also said that Malta has enough vaccine stock to vaccinate the whole country within the span of six months.

He also said that the country is currently in talks with three other companies.

The Deputy PM also said that around 100,000 people have taken the Influenza vaccine. He stressed the vaccination must be taken people across the country over a number of months in order to successfully achieve herd immunity.

Speaking on the pandemic, the health minister said that the country is in a different situation then it was in last March.

“We are not on the doorstep of spring but of winter. We also have better knowhow on how the COVID-19 works,” he said.

Fearne fielded questions on the pandemic from both government and opposition MPs.

The health minister said that by next week the contact tracing will go up to 80 from 32 last week.

Opposition leader Bernard Grech
Opposition leader Bernard Grech

In his speech, the Opposition Leader Bernard Grech said the country is living through an extraordinary time.

He also hit-out at claims from the government benches that the opposition is being too negative in its reaction to coronavirus measures implemented.

“We have to suggest and criticise when things are not right,” he said.

The opposition leader said that government has still not answered on the alarming spike of COVID-19 case following summer.

“Political responsibility has still not been shouldered,” he said.

The PN leader stressed that the PM’s meddling in decisions on the health aspect of the pandemic must stop.

“The PM is showing that he has not learnt from his mistakes, for him success can be measured by stating that thousands did not die,” he said.

Grech concluded by stating the PN will continue to serve as a voice for the unheard during these trying times.

“The whole country should cooperate with health authorities, we are all in the same boat and only together can we survive,” he said.

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