Malta sets COVID vaccine target at 85% of adult population in face of Delta variant

Health Minister Chris Fearne says herd immunity has to be strengthened further in the face of the more contagious COVID Delta variant

Malta wants 85% of its adult population fully vaccinated
Malta wants 85% of its adult population fully vaccinated

Malta wants to vaccinate 85% of its adults against COVID to further strengthen herd immunity in the face of the more infectious Delta variant, Chris Fearne said.

The Health Minister reiterated the importance of vaccinations to keep the COVID pandemic at bay as Europe braces itself for a fresh wave of infections prompted by the Delta variant.

“In those countries where vaccinations are low, the Delta variant is wreaking havoc. In those countries where vaccinations are high, the Delta variant is a worrying factor… herd immunity with full vaccinations gives us protection against COVID but the more there are contagious variants, the more it becomes necessary to increase the vaccination rate,” Fearne said.

He added that the health authorities have set themselves the target of inoculating 85% of all adults with both vaccine doses to strengthen herd immunity.

The latest figures show that 81.5% of all adults aged 16 and over have received at least their first vaccine dose, while the fully-vaccinated rate stands at 73%.

“You cannot be arrogant with this virus. This virus is unpredictable. We have to be prudent and not arrogant even in how we remove restrictions,” Fearne cautioned.

Fearne urged people who have not yet received their vaccine to do so as quickly as possible.

He said that by the end of the week, all children between 12 and 15 should receive an invitation by post to get vaccinated and urged parents to send an email on [email protected] if no invitation is received by Friday.