The Malta Independent 7 May 2021, Friday

Watch: Vaccination helpline 145 completely unreachable

Friday, 12 March 2021, 10:33 Last update: about 3 months ago

The Covid-19 vaccine helpline – 145 – is completely unreachable.

This newsroom has over the past week received several complaints by people who did not manage to get through to an operator on the freephone number.

Over the past 24 hours, this newsroom made various attempts to reach an operator but all calls are failing.

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The health authorities recently acknowledged that they were struggling to cope amid a surge of queries, and said that the issue would be addressed.

Health authority sources said the service was hugely understaffed, with only 12 persons manning the telephones, but these will be increased to 30 over the coming hours.

It is understood that the demand for the service has increased over the past few days, with many members of the public trying to ask when they will receive their appointment.

Many questions are related to the fact that some people are being vaccinated before older persons or those classified as vulnerable. This is due to the fact that the Astra Zenica vaccine is only given to people up to 60 years old, while older and vulnerable persons are being given the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. This means that different age groups are being given the vaccine in parallel.

On Wednesday, Deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne said that 17% of the population has received the first dose and 8% have received both doses.

Fearne also said that 55% of vulnerable people and 82% of the elderly have been vaccinated.

Health Superintendent Charmaine Gauci will be addressing her weekly Covid-19 briefing at 12:30pm today.

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