Community pharmacies and family doctors should be roped into the country’s COVID-19 vaccination programme, Opposition shadow minister for health Stephen Spiteri said on Friday.

Flanked by PN MP Maria Deguara, Spiteri was briefing the media about the party's recommendations to curb the pandemic, which it will pass on to the government. 

"We are currently experiencing vaccine delays. While this is acceptable because the delay is a global one, we should be looking into how to make our vaccine strategy more efficient and accessible," he said.

"I believe that reaching an agreement with community pharmacies and family doctors, considering that we already have a robust Pharmacy Of Your Choice system in place, could help us achieve herd immunity quicker.” 

Spiteri claimed that one-third of the population, including those aged under 16, people who have been advised not to get vaccinated, and expectant mothers will not be able to take the jab, and it was, therefore, crucial for the government to do its utmost to reach the remaining eligible cohorts. 

The PN is also calling on the government to invest more in its vaccine education campaign, focusing on those who have expressed scepticism and uncertainty at receiving the jab. 

Deguara meanwhile said she was glad the government had recognised "the risk factor of people travelling to Gozo during carnival break". 

On Wednesday the government announced a new set of measures targeted at people travelling to Gozo during this time, including increased patrols and an 11pm curfew for restaurants. 

“These new measures are a step in the right direction and it’s encouraging that the government has shown it is capable of learning from its previous mistakes,” Deguara said.

“However the brunt of wrong decisions is unfortunately borne by citizens, particularly the elderly who are in a more vulnerable position.”

Deguara said the party was recommending that authorities start asking incoming travellers to provide a certificate showing that they are COVID-free, and not rely solely on random testing.

Sign up to our free newsletters

Get the best updates straight to your inbox:
Please select at least one mailing list.

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By subscribing, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing.