During the course of the instability brought about during 2020, a potential vaccine was dubbed as the exit route from the COVID-19 pandemic. Towards the end of 2020, there was an increased sense of optimism as vaccines were closing in for approvals. As 2021 progressed, the vaccination programme pushed forth, with those of an older age and the vulnerable being addressed first.
Today, those living in Malta and the European Union have access to four vaccines which have been approved for emergency use. These include the vaccines produced by Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson. A significant percentage of the Maltese population has been fully vaccinated with the country reaching the benchmark of herd immunity. With that said, although the majority of Maltese citizens are vaccinated, the country is registering increased daily cases. It was reported that most of these cases were unvaccinated foreigners. Even though this may be the case, many are eagerly awaiting the coming weeks to monitor mortality and hospitalisation rates. If deaths and hospitalisations were to go through an unwelcome spike, this would leave many on edge, as restrictions might be re-introduced.
For many that have heeded the call of government and took the vaccine, the subsequent outcomes may be of disappointment. It would be quite disappointing to consider that people may be locked into their homes once more, even when they are fully vaccinated. This may demotivate such individuals, with them ending up not taking a booster shot even if it is required. Many would consider not taking the booster if the vaccination programme does not lead to normality. The fact that people are still living in fear and COVID-19 remains one of the topics most discussed, allows for an element of uncertainty.
So what can we do to get past COVID-19 once and for all?
Considering that most people who are getting the virus are not vaccinated, it would be a good idea for those who did not take the jab to get inoculated. Through the vaccine, transmission and serious symptoms will substantially reduce, paving a way for a closer to normal reality. What would also be worth considering is the current reporting of COVID-19 numbers. In the scenario that through vaccinations and appropriate medical care, this disease is brought under control, one would expect that the reporting will no longer need to delve into the number of daily new cases. If anything, more emphasis should be made on the severe cases and hospitalisations. Through these approaches, we may finally get our heads back to other important matters, away from COVID-19.