Watch: Pneumococcal vaccine to be available for free

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

The pneuomococcal vaccine will be available for free through the Malta National Vaccination Schedule, Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister Chris Fearne announced on Saturday morning during a press conference.

Last year, 98% of the target population was vaccinated via the national programme putting Malta at the forefront when compared to other countries, Health Minister Fearne remarked. During the press conference he highlighted the importance of getting vaccinated saying that it prevented the outbreak of infectious diseases.

The health authorities are predicting a bigger strain on the health services in autumn when the country will face an influenza and a coronavirus epidemic at the same time. Fearne underlined that the influenza vaccine was available for free through the vaccination schedule, while discussions on whether to make the influenza vaccine obligatory are underway.

The new vaccine will be given to babies aged eight weeks, followed by another vaccine when they are aged three to four months and a final vaccine at 12 months. This vaccine was previously available at private clinics and costs around €200.

There will be a total of thirteen vaccines available through the Malta National Vaccination Schedule.

Individuals who have missed their vaccination appointment may call on 25680299 to reschedule their appointment.

On Friday the government announced the gradual lifting of restrictive coronavirus measures. A number of health services which were reduced as the country prepared and focused its resources on combating the coronavirus will resume as from Monday. Health centres will start to vaccinate children. Following the coronavirus outbreak in Malta vaccinations were limited to Mosta and Floriana health centres, Fearne announced on Friday. Other health services which will resume include screening against cervical cancer, and eventually screening of the breast and the large intestine, will resume after it had to be temporarily halted.

More endoscopies will start being carried out for intestinal and stomach tests from Monday while the number of CT scans, MRIs and ultrasounds will also increase.

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