People who left Malta years ago are receiving letters at addresses where they lived before emigrating, inviting them to get COVID-19 vaccinations. 

Times of Malta has received several reports of people who were excited to spot the vaccine letter in the post only to find out it was addressed to previous occupants of the residence.

One reader told Times of Malta: "My parents, aged 74 and 69, did not get the vaccine letter yet but they got one for the previous owners of their house which they bought from them 37 years ago before they emigrated."

Another said that although the previous owners had moved away more recently, they had stopped receiving letters in their names some time ago. The vaccine invite was the first to arrive at their door in months. 

Health sources told Times of Malta that although the authorities were doing their utmost to avoid such errors, there currently seemed to be quite a few letters being sent to people who had left the country. 

It remains unclear how many such letters have been sent out. 

This is not the first time vaccine invites were sent to the wrong people. Since the vaccine roll-out kicked off in December, several people have reported receiving letters for relatives who died years ago. In some of the reported cases, the person sent the letter had been dead for decades. 

When asked about this in the past, the health authorities had said thousands of letters were being sent out and they were stepping up efforts to avoid such mistakes. 

Meanwhile, a Health Ministry spokesperson said those who had questions on the vaccine rollout should call the 145 helpline. The line, which in recent weeks has often been busy as workers manning it were overloaded with calls, has recently been beefed up. 

Nonetheless, the health authorities have repeatedly urged those calling the line just to ask about when their turn will be to await official direction before doing so. 

Right now, healthcare workers are vaccinating those aged over 60, the vulnerable and non-medical frontliners, including educators. 

Both the over-60 and vulnerable groups are considered "very large" with over 120,000 people forming part of either of the two groups. 

Earlier on Tuesday, the health authorities said over 86 per cent of those aged over 80 had been vaccinated. They urged those in this age bracket who are still mobile and live at home to call the helpline if they have not yet received the invite to get the vaccine. 


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