Children aged between 12 and 15 will start receiving invitations to get vaccinated against COVID-19 before the weekend, Health Minister Chris Fearne said on Friday. 

Fearne had initially said that children would start receiving the invites last Monday, just as 70 per cent of Malta's adult population will be fully vaccinated against COVID.

Those aged 16 and over started being vaccinated in May. That same month the EU's drug watchdog approved the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus jab for 12 to 15-year-olds, saying the vaccine was "well-tolerated" in children and there were no "major concerns" in terms of side effects

The news comes just as Malta announced that UK arrivals have to present a vaccine certificate from June 30. The UK has also added Malta to its quarantine-free green list, in a major boost to the hard-hit tourism industry.

Up until Thursday, 640,729 COVID vaccine doses were administered in Malta, with the health authorities reporting that 299,151 people have been fully vaccinated against the virus.

Meanwhile, some 7,000 people who have been vaccinated with the AstraZeneca jab will receive their second dose earlier than planned as a precaution against the Delta variant.

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