Flu vaccine and the elderly

Not all the residents of a private home for the elderly located in Naxxar have been given the flu vaccine yet.

What is the reason for this? The government should have ensured that the first batch of the flu vaccine covered all the elderly in all the homes for the elderly, government and private ones. Or was this an oversight of the management of this home, which may not have ordered a sufficient number of vaccines for all its residents or it was not given enough vaccines?

These elderly people and their concerned relatives have a right to answers. They were informed that they would receive the flu vaccine when the second batch arrives in mid-November but why were they not covered by the first batch? This is unacceptable.

We are already in mid-November and, as far as I am aware, I have not heard of any news that the second batch has arrived.

In the meantime, the elderly in this home and, perhaps, other elderly who have not yet had the flu injection administered to them are left very vulnerable, especially because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Maryanne Gauci – St Paul’s Bay

Marsalforn at a crossroad

A promenade is generally defined as a long, open area, usually beside the sea, where people may walk, children can play and families can enjoy the outdoors together.

The Marsalforn front or its ‘promenade’, as the locals call it, is being done anew, with decorative floor tiles, new street furniture, new street lights and all the other street embellishments that such a place deserves. The works are going on fast and hints of what will be the final result are already there.

All this is surely commendable and, indeed, Marsalforn has not seen these type of works in many decades. However, is it the case that we still call the front of this beloved bay a promenade?

To date, Marsalforn has approximately 25 catering establishments, the majority of which have substantial outside dining areas, on both sides of the street, including the promenade.

Of course, one cannot expect that such a place is not commercialised; that would be naive and, yes, restaurants and bars need to be facilitated but is there balance?

Holistically speaking, is the status quo the best compromise between the exigencies of restaurants etc. and the needs of the families?

More importantly, in 10 years’ time, when the catering establishments will increase as they always do, will there be ‘living space’ for the people, ‘playing areas’ for our children and open areas for our tourists to enjoy Marsalforn?

The residential population in Marsalforn has grown exponentially during the last decade with no indications of a slowdown.

Should these people and all others who visit Marsalforn on a regular basis be catered for? Will there be ‘living space’ for them?

Is a ‘promenade’ over-crowded with tables and chairs, its characteristics hindered by the presence of excessive street furniture, in the best interest of Marsalforn, its people and, possibly, to a certain extent, to restaurant owners? Would a more holistic approach that caters for the long term be more sustainable?

Marsalforn of our youth is gone. However, the decisions taken today will inevitably determine what type of Marsalforn we want for our future and for the generations to come. Marsalforn, like all Gozo, may very well be at an existentialist crossroad.

Jason Grech – Marsalforn

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