Half of over 60s who died of COVID were unvaccinated with booster

 - COVID-19 - Feb 9 SHARE ON:
Half of over 60s who died of COVID were unvaccinated with booster

Superintendent for Public Health Charmaine Gauci revealed that almost half of all COVID-19 deaths among 60s this year were from the 5% of people in the same age group unvaccinated with the booster.

Figures are worse for over 60s who are completely unvaccinated, but they account for less than 1% of over 60s. One in every six (16%) deaths among this age group come from this cohort. Charmaine Gauci revealed the statistics in her Times of Malta column ‘Ask Charmaine’. 

She went on to argue for the booster protection amongst older people. Further statistics show that around 95% of people aged 60 and older, around 120,000 people, have received a vaccine booster dose. 

This leaves just 5% of that age cohort, around 6,000 people, who are either not fully vaccinated or not vaccinated at all. The much smaller group of over 60s have been more disproportionately likely to die while infected with COVID-19 in 2022. Gauci noted that this accounts for 40% of deaths within that age group. 

Risk of death from the virus increases rapidly with age, and that rings true when looking at deaths related to COVID in Malta this year so far. More than 92% of those deaths have been people aged over 60. 

A WHO regional study published in November 2021 calculated that Malta’s widespread vaccine uptake among over 60s managed to avert around 860 deaths up to that point. This means COVID related deaths within that age group would have been 74% higher had there been no vaccine. 

Malta also has one of the world’s largest uptakes of COVID vaccines, with more than 77% of adults having received a booster dose of the jab on Wednesday. With the vaccine available for kids as young as five, the uptake among those younger, lower risk age groups groups is lower. 



Malta has the lowest COVID-19 case rate in Europe

 - COVID-19 - Feb 9 SHARE ON:
Malta has the lowest COVID-19 case rate in Europe

New EU data shows that Malta’s COVID-19 case rate is now the lowest in Europe, with the figure being the lowest ever since mid-December.Malta’s 14-day case rate, according to a weekly review by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), stands at 593.9 cases per 100,000 people. 

The rate stood at over 2,500 cases per 100,000 at the peak of January spike, which saw thousands of cases being detected daily. Malta’s latest rate is now the lowest in Europe, with the country with the second-lowest rate, Poland, detecting three times as many cases.Poland’s rate stood at 1,482.3 cases per 100,000 people, with the EU average also significantly higher at 3,604.5 cases per 100,000. 

The drop in cases comes less than two months since Malta’s worsening COVID-19 situation was deemed the most worrying in Europe at the end of the year. This placed the island as very high concern with a score of nine out of 10. With the score dropping to 6.5, among the lowest in Europe, Malta’s COVID situation started to improve following days of record-breaking tallies at the end of the year and January. 

According to the ECDC, hospital admissions have stabilised while the number of those requiring admission to ITUs decreasing. Despite this, the death rate is still increasing and sands at 27.2 cases per one million. In the past 24 hours, 172 cases were registered, with Malta currently having 2097 active cases. 79 patients are currently being treated in hospital, 4 of whom are in the ITU. 



Malta has the highest rate of early school leaves across EU

 - International - Feb 9 SHARE ON:
Malta has the highest rate of early school leaves across EU

Over the past decade, the share of early school-leavers in Malta has been almost cut by half, dropping from 21% in 2010 to 13% in 2020. Despite this, Malta still failed to reach the 10% national target set by the EU. Between 2018 and 2020, the percentage of male early school-leavers slightly increased… reversing the trend of the past 10 years.

15 out of 27 countries in the EU so far have reached their national targets. However, Malta’s sharp unemployment decrease, which fell to a historical low, may have contributed to Malta’s high percentage of school leavers. A report in the Central Bank’s quarterly review by Tiziana M. Gauci finds that in such circumstances, the incentive to invest in one’s eduction may have declined in the short run. Even when leaving school with a basic level of education, most Maltese early school leavers still managed to find a job. 

Around 70% of early school leavers in fact were employed in 2020. This is the highest rate across the EU, where in contrast less than half of early school leavers were employed. Despite the lack of official qualifications, early school leavers in Malta may still possess skills relevant for the market. Malta managed to decrease the amount of early school leavers, which is something also witnessed through a reduction in secondary school absenteeism. This went down from 30% in 2013 to around 22% in 2017. The island even reached its national target of having 33% of those aged 30-34 achieve a tertiary level of education. 

46% of women aged 30-34 had a university degree in 2020, but it fell to 34% for men. Overall, the share of Maltese aged 30-34 with tertiary level of education stood at 40%, close to the EU average of 41%. Now mirroring the EU average with a 25-34 demographic being the most highly educated, 40% of this cohort have a tertiary level of education in 2020. This occurred over the course of a decade, wherein Malte reduced a 10% point gap with the EU’s average in 2010. 



7 signs that you may have found the right one on Valentine’s Day | by Ed’s Common Sense

 - Lifestyle - Feb 9 SHARE ON:

Beyond the fancy dinners and soft toys, Valentine’s Day is a celebration of love and togetherness. While some spend their lives searching for the right one, others may be staring right at them and this week, clinical psychologist and psychotherapist Dr. Edward Curmi is here to give us 7 signs that you may have found the right one on Valentine’s Day.

Dr. Edward Curmi is also the author of 2 self-help books titled Ed’s Common Sense.

You are always happy around each other.

Your hunch tells you they are the one.

You feel safe and secure in their presence.

You are not scared of disagreeing as relationships are hard work.

You feel they are your major fan.

You have similar principles and values.

You want to better one another without changing too much each other.

Do these points sound familiar? Or have you yet to meet the one?

Let us know in the comments!


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