Around two out of every three people aged between 80 and 84 have taken the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister Chris Fearne told Parliament on Monday. 

Fearne said 65 per cent of that age cohort has received one vaccine dose. He gave the figure in a reply to a parliamentary question by Opposition MP Maria Deguara on Monday. 

Authorities are currently vaccinating people in that age group as well as workers in clinical settings and non-medical frontliners such as police officers, AFM and CPD officials.

While senior citizens are receiving doses of a vaccine made by Pfizer/BioNTech, other, younger people eligible for vaccination are being vaccinated with a vaccine made by AstraZeneca. 

Fearne said that to date over 10,000 invitations have been issued for those aged between 80 and 84, and that up to 65 per cent have taken their first dose. 

“Vaccinations are ongoing, and invitations are still being sent out for those who still have not received their invite.”

Vaccinations in other age cohorts

The health minister also gave details of how many people above the age of 85 years have received the vaccine. 

Out of 6,586 people aged between 85-89, 90 per cent have received their first dose, while 68 per cent have received the second one. 

Among those aged over 90, 62 per cent have received both vaccine doses and are fully vaccinated, while 85 per cent have only received one dose so far. 

In another parliamentary question, Fearne was also asked how many vulnerable people there are in Malta, and what percentage of them have received the vaccine. 

He said that there are 23,191 people classified as vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19. Of those, 13.6 per cent have already received their first vaccine doses.

Vulnerable people, along with those over the age of 55, will be receiving the Pfizer vaccine.

Pfizer said last week that new studies indicated that a single shot of its vaccine conferred up to 85 per cent immunity in patients within two to four weeks after the jab. 

Previously, Fearne has said that 91 per cent of medical frontliners have taken the COVID-19 vaccine. 

Malta is currently leading the European Union in vaccine uptake, with no other member state having administered as many first vaccine doses, proportional to population. As of Sunday, 64,419 doses of vaccines have been administered. Of these, 20,531 have been second doses. 

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