The Malta Independent 22 January 2021, Friday

Vaccine

Alfred Sant MEP Thursday, 3 December 2020, 07:58 Last update: about 3 months ago

If the vaccine that is eventually going to be used to drive out the corona virus pandemic is administered in the same way as for influenza, then it will be quite likely that as soon as it hits “the market”, it can be very rapidly put into effect for millions and millions of people.

I hardly felt the influenza jab I recently got on the back of the supply that has just been imported. The procedure is soon over. The small queue that had assembled at the time I went for the injection was admittedly small (and it was Sunday) but we all were rapidly serviced.

ADVERTISEMENT

Such a way of doing things could be of crucial importance for the Covid-19 vaccine. A swift procedure and the ease with which the jab is done will by themselves encourage more and more citizens to get vaccinated and will promote a much needed feeling of courage and optimism among people.

This would serve too to emarginate all those crazies ... like Brazil’s President Bolsonaro... who will be loudly preaching against vaccination.

Bolsonaro will not be on his own to dish out such stupid advice. At least by that time Donald Trump will have left the White House (probably...)  

***

THOSE WHO LAG

In the education sector – at secondary school levels and down – children and young people from the lower earning families were the most badly impacted by measures undertaken to contain the spread of the pandemic. They accounted for the highest rates of absenteeism and experienced the worst problems when it came to follow and understand on-line learning.

More, it was found that such problems were concentrated in specific, well defined area of the islands. Again, regarding this finding, perhaps one could hardly be excessively surprised.

However, the educational authorities must now find a remedy for this problem.

It would definitely be unacceptable if because of Covid-19, the educational horizons of those who already faced difficulties are allowed to sink further. 

***

DISCUSSING THE MFF

It is strange how one mindset dominates in practically all discussions about the MFF – the EU programme where, following agreement among member states, the lines are set for outgoes and receipts during the coming seven years. How and on what shall/should the monies be spent?

True, this time a discussion did arise about new income sources by way of additional taxes that will be imposed by the EU across the board.

Still, even so, the greatest focus remained on which projects the major funds should be allocated. All member states calculated their stand on the basis of the funds they were due to receive.

Many people believe that once the funds to be allocated to a given country have been agreed, there is no need for further discussion. Few balance monies to be received with what will have to be paid into the EU budget.

Since the Union cannot bridge deficits by raising loans, the financial contributions arriving from member states must underwrite expenditures.

Some will surely get a scare when they turn to comparing the monies received by their country with what it pays into the EU budget.

  • don't miss