Malta’s Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister Chris Ferne on Monday announced that 70% of the country’s adult population had received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine, making Malta the first EU country to achieve collective immunity. This is reported by the Reuters news agency.
“The vaccine is administered [in the country] every five seconds, < … > 42% of the adult population received two doses,” he said at a press conference. “The vaccine is a weapon against the virus,” Ferne added.
As the head of the Ministry of Health pointed out, persons who have been fully vaccinated will not have to wear a protective mask on the street from July. The wearing of masks will remain mandatory for all people inside the premises.
Since the beginning of the pandemic in Malta, 30.5 thousand cases of coronavirus infection have been detected, 417 people have died. Over the past day, only two new cases of infection were recorded in the country, 11 people recovered. On Monday, restrictions on access to gyms and swimming pools were lifted in Malta, and restaurant opening hours were extended until midnight. Previously, they were supposed to close at 17: 00, according to Reuters. In the coming days, it is also planned to introduce vaccination certificates, since July, the authorities want to use them for cultural and entertainment events.
According to the latest data, more than 474.4 thousand vaccinations against COVID-19 were made in Malta. Citizens at least 16 years of age are vaccinated, and the authorities are ready to start vaccinating children aged 12 to 15 against coronavirus infection if the European Medicines Agency approves this practice. Currently, Malta and Hungary are the leaders in terms of vaccination rates in the European Union.