Three of the six patients who died after receiving both COVID-19 doses were infected before the 14 days needed for immunity to kick in had elapsed.

On Friday, public health chief Charmaine Gauci confirmed that, since the vaccines started being given out in December, there had been six patients who died after receiving both vaccine doses. She did not provide any further information on the matter.

Times of Malta can now confirm that three of the six who passed away involved patients who had only received the jab days before their death.

For the body to develop resistance to COVID-19, some 14 days have to pass from the day when a patient gets a shot in the arm. This period might be even longer for those considered to be immunocompromised – vulnerable patients whose immune system is impaired.

As of Monday, the health authorities had administered 186,111 doses of the novel coronavirus vaccine, of which 52,340 were booster shots.

Gauci also pointed out during the Ask Charmaine programme hosted by Times of Malta that no vaccine has “100 per cent efficacy”, even though, overall, the majority of persons vaccinated are protected.

“This vaccine is very good. The influenza vaccine efficacy is actually much less. But there is a very small percentage of people who, even though they are immunised, will get infected, will have to go to hospital and some even, unfortunately, die,” she said.

“This is why we have been urging people to continue taking care of themselves and adhere to the measures in place.”

Malta had kicked off the COVID-19 vaccination drive in December, along with the rest of Europe.

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