P&R chief hopes island to be vaccinated by autumn

COVID-19 vaccinations for everyone who can be inoculated could be done by the autumn, says Guernsey’s most senior politician.

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Peter Ferbrache, who is president of the Policy & Resources Committee and chairman of the Civil Contingencies Authority, set out the potential timeline for the vaccination programme after being asked about the issue by the Guernsey Press.

In the UK, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told the BBC at the weekend that the UK was making ‘good progress’ in ensuring every adult was offered a vaccine by September.

‘If it can be done more swiftly, that’s a bonus,’ he said.

In terms of vaccinations locally, Deputy Ferbrache was asked whether a similar September milestone would be achieved or potentially sooner.

‘We keep that under review,’ said Deputy Ferbrache during a Guernsey Chamber of Commerce event at the Old Government House in St Peter Port.

‘It’s a formula, we get a percentage of the vaccine they get in the UK. At the moment, at least, you can’t go and buy another 100,000 doses of the vaccine. So, we know that by the end of March, with the two main vaccines we’re going to get just over 40,000. You allow 10% wastage – hopefully you don’t get 10% wastage – so there’s 36,000.’

Locally, there was a policy whereby the two priority groups – the oldest and most vulnerable – got their two doses one after the other within three or four weeks, he explained.

‘After that it’s going be a six- or eight-week thing.

‘We can’t leave it long because you’re never sure you’re going to get the responses.’

Deputy Ferbrache added: ‘The intent would be to vaccinate everybody that can be vaccinated as quickly as possible.

‘I would hope certainly by the autumn. But it depends on external factors which are not within the control of the Bailiwick, albeit we’re doing our best to address them.’

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