Watch: COVID-19 vaccine; People with health conditions should ask for medical advice – Fearne

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

One should ask his or her medical doctor to guide them on which vaccine, against COVID-19, would be best for them depending on whether the person has any health conditions. This was explained by Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister Chris Fearne during an interview on Newsbook.com.mt conducted by Fr Joe Borg.

Earlier last week, Minister Fearne said that Malta will not be pursuing a national emergency authorisation for a vaccine against COVID-19 but Maltese authorities will wait and rely on the assessment by the European Medicines Agency and that the assessment by the European Medicines Agency is expected to be finalized by the end of December. Then the vaccine can be approved for use in Malta.

During the interview on Newsbook.com.mt, Minster Chris Fearne answered the questions sent by readers who wanted to ask when will it be their turn to be vaccinated? How will they know? And if they need to apply or do something to get the vaccine? Amongst other questions.

Fearne said that not all vaccines are the same and that they work differently from one another. He further explained that the choice of the vaccine will not make any difference except for people who have certain health conditions. For this reason, Minister Fearne said that ideally, one should consult his or her doctor for advice on the vaccine.

The first to get the vaccine;

  • The health workers, including those who work within the private sector including mental health facilities
  • Residents within the homes for the elderly, including employees with in the same facility
  • The elderly aged 85 and over
  • Police, Armed Forces of Malta and Civil Protection Department officials
  • The elderly aged 80 and over
  • Educators and all those who work within education institutions including childcare centres
  • People who suffer from chronic health conditions
  • The elderly aged 70 and over
  • People aged 55 and over
  • Then it will be offered to the rest of the population

When asked about the time frame in which the vaccine will have to be disseminated, the Health Minister said that the process is expected to take a month. He explained that the vaccines manufactured by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna are expected to get the go-ahead by the competent authorities and this would mean that the first vaccines could be rolled out by January next year.

Minster Chris Fearne said that the vaccine will not be mandatory, free to all Maltese residents and that those who receive the vaccine should still observe the mitigation measures against coronavirus as the vaccine will not immediately generate immunity against the virus.