COVID-19: The prize to winning the vaccine race

Malta is firmly leading the EU vaccination rollout race as it hits an important milestone with over 108,000 citizens fully jabbed.  Recent data by The Financial Times indicates that Malta is vaccinating at a rate which is twice the EU average.  In fact, Malta is administering 48.5 doses per 100 people, while the EU average stands at 22.7 per 100.

Methods on how to contain the spread of the virus from one country to another varied largely across the globe. Malta has never gone into a total lockdown and has largely managed the spike in COVID cases by stepping up restrictions. The Government’s approach swayed from one phase to another, from the strict few months from March to June 2020 to the Swedish model of business as usual in summer, to going back to a quasi-lockdown when COVID infections hit the 500+ cases daily. The new restrictions in March 2021 and a more conservative approach has once again reduced the number of infections to double digit while the hospital situation has normalised to the levels of the first days of the pandemic. 

While the government is credited with containing the pandemic very well by and large, what has really placed Malta a cut above the rest is the rate with which it is vaccinating its population. 

The secret? Malta acted very quickly to procure vaccinations from each of the companies which obtain an EMA licence. Prime Minister Robert Abela spoke about the government’s strategy, buying more vaccines than Malta’s half a million population needs. That way the government could have a buffer for any hiccups in the international roll-out of vaccines.

That is why when the vaccine politics kicked in, as AstraZeneca fought a bitter fight with myth busting blood clot scaremongering, Malta kept jabbing at full speed.

At the current rate of vaccinations, and subject to no major health scare, new variants and mutants which make the vaccine ineffective, Malta should reach herd immunity by the end of July 2021. 

This has earned Malta the status of the safest country in Europe and second most safe country in the world. This is making Malta the hottest destination for travellers and businesses who are seeking new destinations.

At the current rate of vaccinations, and subject to no major health scare, new variants and mutants which make the vaccine ineffective, Malta should reach herd immunity by the end of July 2021.

  ‘Safest country’

 The status of Europe’s (and the world’s) safest destination has already hit the headlines globally and created a positive vibe among travellers who can’t wait to hop on a plane and venture overseas.

This puts Malta at a major competitive advantage when it comes to tourism, and as such, this summer’s prospects are looking positive as hotels are reporting encouraging bookings. It is the time for the Malta Tourism Authority to step up its marketing prowess and target the kind of tourists it wants to attract to the islands. It is a onetime window that would give Malta a new turn in its drive for a more sustainable tourism sector. 

The flipside of such optimism would be getting too excited by the momentum and opening up the floodgates without control. This would spell disaster for the rest of the touristic season which can prolong to the fourth quarter of 2021 if managed carefully. 

A business destination

There is also another major opportunity for Malta: Attracting business. 

The good management of COVID, the rate of vaccination and the support which the Government gave to businesses throughout the pandemic has also caught the eye of foreign companies seeking a safe place where to locate their business. 

The drive by Malta Enterprise to market Malta as a destination for international Startups through very generous incentives is a smart way of putting the message out there to young entrepreneurs who are more agile to move from one base to another. 

The manufacturing sector in Malta has proved to be resilient throughout the pandemic. The government’s strategy to never go on lockdown and to engage actively with the large manufacturing companies to ensure continuation of operations in a safe environment is also proving to be effective when such companies report back to their global corporates. 

COVID may very well turn into an opportunity if Malta exploits its good management of the pandemic during a volatile period for businesses which may be looking for a stable jurisdiction where to locate or co-locate their operations. 

COVID may very well turn into an opportunity if Malta exploits its good management of the pandemic during a volatile period for businesses which may be looking for a stable jurisdiction where to locate or co-locate their operations.

And for the prize…

While the global situation remains fluid, with China and the US reporting positive economic prospects, the world is expected to start breathing again very soon. 

The big winners out of this breathtaking COVID marathon are expected to be the countries which managed COVID most efficiently both from a healthcare perspective as well as its economic fallout. 

That is why Malta stands a good chance of capitalising on a well-managed crisis situation by Robert Abela’s government and rebound back quicker than most of its competitors. 

The prize in terms of economic turnaround is there for the taking, while in the medium term it may be a very apt opportunity to restart the economy to take a more sustainable long-term direction. This global chaotic crisis could very well turn out to be a golden opportunity for Malta.

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Eugenio Duca
Eugenio Duca
2 years ago

Congratulations for breathing some fresh air ❤🇲🇹

Lina Mangion
Lina Mangion
2 years ago

It was never 500 daily only once it was 500..

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