The Malta Independent 8 May 2021, Saturday

First batch of Johnson & Johnson vaccines arrives in Malta

Sunday, 18 April 2021, 15:18 Last update: about 19 days ago

The first batch of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson has arrived in Malta, The Malta Independent can confirm.

The vaccine doses however will remain sealed until the European Medicines Agency lifts a suspension on its use, which it imposed in order to investigate concerns around rare blood clots related to the virus in the United States.

The vaccine can be stored in a fridge at between 2 and 8 degrees celsius for up to three months.

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The Johnson & Johnson vaccine, if allowed for use, is expected to accelerate Malta’s herd immunity timeline as it requires only one dose – rather than the two doses required by all the other vaccines – in order to achieve immunity from the virus.

Health Minister Chris Fearne has said that at the current rate of vaccination, with the three approved vaccines being used, Malta should achieve herd immunity by the end of June and have offered a vaccine dose to the whole population by mid-August.

Malta currently has three vaccines for use: the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, the AstraZeneca vaccine, and the Moderna vaccine.

As of last week, figures published by The Malta Independent showed that 68% of the doses administered were of the Pfizer vaccine. 28% were of the AstraZeneca vaccine, while the remaining 4% were of the Moderna jab.

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