The Malta Independent 25 October 2020, Sunday

Updated (2): First day of influenza vaccination campaign falls flat as nurses do not turn up

Sunday, 11 October 2020, 09:52 Last update: about 13 days ago

The first day of a vaccination campaign against influenza fell flat as nurses did not turn up to inoculate people on instructions from their union.

Local councils where the vaccination campaign was to have started informed residents that the programme had to be postponed because of the union directives.

The vaccination service was available at the Mosta, Paola, Birkirkara and Zurrieq health centres, which operated normally.

The Malta Union of Midwives and Nurses urged nurses to observe a directive in place over a dispute the union has with the government over meal allowances and extra leave given to workers in lieu of working weekends or public holidays.

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MUMN President Paul Pace said that nurses are making major sacrifices due to Covid-19, and that they don;t want applause, just what is rightly theirs.

Health Minister Chris Fearne said that not administering the vaccine will put people's lives at risk.

St Julian's Mayor Albert Buttigieg said on Facebook that "today's scheduled session of flu vaccination has been cancelled due to Nurses union strike directive. Kindly excuse for this inconvenience."

Ghalkemm illum kienet ser tibda tinghata l-injection tal-influwenza mill-Kunsill Lokali ta' San Giljan, nixtiequ nhabbru...

Posted by Albert Buttigieg on Sunday, 11 October 2020

Swieqi Mayor Noel Muscat also said that vaccinations in his locality today were cancelled due to the nurses not showing up.

In a statement, Primary Healthcare said that due to the industrial action, the vaccination service was interrupted in a number of localities, and apologised for any inconvenience.

The flu season this year comes at a time when the country is still battling the Covid-19 pandemic. Both have very similair symptoms.

The government recently said that, due to this situation, it is importing 200,000 flu vaccines this year, double the normal yearly amount, in a bit to get as much of the population vaccinated as possible.


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