The launch of a COVID-19 vaccine is something that many are hoping for, to ensure a return to normality and the safety that we are accustomed to. It has been recently announced on Twitter, by the Health Minister, Chris Fearne, that Malta has been allocated three hundred and thirty thousand doses of a vaccine that may be produced in the coming weeks.
When considering that three hundred and thirty thousand doses cater for around sixty-five percent of the population, there would be enough vaccine shots for those who are vulnerable and the healthcare workers. It is part of the plan to acquire enough doses to cater for the entire population, which would be in the region of five hundred thousand vaccine shots.
Malta took part in an initiative, together with other European Union member states to ensure fair distribution. It is very clear to see that today, we are in a much better position than we were in February where the actual viability of a vaccine was questioned. Although the results of phase three trials are yet to be concluded, there is a general feel-good factor that an effective vaccine will be available sooner rather than later. Back in February, we were also unsure of the potential of early access for Malta, as it was suspected that larger countries would monopolise the doses. Such a scenario would have left a country like Malta waiting longer for a vaccine.
The initiative was pushed within the European Health Council, where an agreement was reached for a vaccine to be jointly acquired and hence distributed. Countries within the European Union will be acquiring the vaccine from AstraZeneca, which shall be distributing the cure prepared by Oxford University. Trials are moving well ahead and we should be expecting final and tangible results soon.
The agreement signed on behalf of the European Union included the contributions of negotiations led by Germany, France, Italy and the Netherlands which guarantees the supply of three hundred million doses.
A COVID-19 vaccine is the game changer that everyone is expecting. It is one of the most effective and safest ways to ensure immunity across the whole board. Having immunity to this virus means that we can go back to travelling without restrictions, meeting in larger gatherings and shake hands!
Are you excited in view of these developments and the subsequent return to normality? Let us know your views in the comments section below.