[WATCH] Vaccination rollout ahead of schedule, over-50s asked to register for jab

Over 50s can now register for the COVID-19 vaccination online or through SMS as the country's accelerated vaccination programme means Malta will reach herd immunity by the end of June, not September

Health minister Chris Fearne
Health minister Chris Fearne

People over 50 years of age can, as of today, register to receive the COVID-19 vaccination, as the vaccination rollout proceeds far ahead of schedule, health minister Chris Fearne said.

Fearne said that over-50s can register online or through SMS.

He said that Malta will be reaching herd immunity by the end of June, and not September, as had previously been planned, because of the accelerated vaccination programme employed.

240,000 doses of vaccine have been given out to date. The authorities’ original plan was to have 80% of over 80s vaccinated by the end of March. But with the fast rollout, 95% of the age group had received the jab by the target date.

“We had said that we wanted to treat all vulnerable people and over 70s by the end of April,” Fearne said. “Now, by the end of the month, we will also have vaccinated all over 60s. And by the third week of May, over 50s will also have received the first dose of the vaccination.”

Fearne said that all vulnerable people over 60 have been invited to be vaccinated. But since some residence addresses and statuses change, he invited any people over 60 who have not yet been contacted or received an appointment for vaccination, to contact 145.

“The hotline 145 is answering over 95% of calls now and that will now be complement with the new registration system we are introducing today,” he said.

People over 50 in Malta can send an SMS on 99180045 to register for vaccination. Over 50s in Gozo can send an SMS 99180044.