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People's Daily Online

Malta becomes first EU country to receive new Moderna vaccine

People's Daily Online

(Xinhua) 09:18, January 12, 2021

VALLETTA, Jan. 11 (Xinhua) -- Malta has become the first country in the European Union to receive a consignment of vaccines developed by Moderna, an American pharmaceutical company, Health Minister Chris Fearne said on Monday.

The European Commission last week granted conditional marketing authorization for the Moderna vaccine.

Inoculation with the vaccine jointly developed by Pfizer and BioNtech has already started in several countries, including Malta.

In a tweet announcing the arrival of the vaccine in the early hours of Monday morning, Fearne gave no details on the amount of doses received.

Malta has seen spikes in new cases recently. On Saturday, 245 new cases were reported, the highest daily tally since the COVID-19 outbreak in the country in March 2020.

The daily figure declined on Monday, with 133 new cases being reported, taking the total number of active cases up to 2,360, according to figures released by the health ministry. Nationwide, the death toll rose to 233.

As the world is struggling to contain the pandemic, vaccination is underway in some countries with the already-authorized coronavirus vaccines.

Meanwhile, 235 candidate vaccines are still being developed worldwide -- 63 of them in clinical trials -- in countries including Germany, China, Russia, Britain and the United States, according to information released by the World Health Organization on Jan. 6.

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