People with disabilities may use outreach clinics

HOW to vaccinate people with learning disabilities has led Public Health to look at alternatives.

(29285927)
(29285927)

Those in residential homes have already had their first dose.

A database is being used to collate a list of those who are able to access other healthcare facilities, of which there are about 230.

‘We have to be sensitive as to where we immunise those people,’ Director of Public Health Dr Nicola Brink said.

‘We’re speaking to various individuals and finding out if it would be OK to immunise them in the community vaccination centre, but we’re also looking at outreach clinics, for example, St Martin’s day centre.’

If someone with learning disabilities goes to the community centre at Beau Sejour, Public Health looks to book double appointments so their carer can be immunised at the same time.

Vaccine wastage is extremely low, the equivalent of about 10 doses out of thousands, said Dr Brink.

When the vaccine was released, there was an assumed wastage of around 20%, but the vaccination team is keen to make the most of every drop, calling in replacement appointments when someone else cancels.

She confirmed the number yesterday, noting that more than 21,000 doses have been administered.

This translates to 32.2 doses per 100 people in the population, compared to the UK’s 28.57 and Jersey’s 27.19.

Last Saturday, Civil Contingencies Authority chairman Peter Ferbrache received one of those 21,173 doses and commended the team on its professionalism and kindness.

The vaccine has been administered through prioritisation groups, in descending age order, with healthcare workers and those who are clinically vulnerable pushed higher up.

Public Health would be pleased to hear ideas from islanders on how to improve the delivery of the programme.

Vaccine uptake locally has exceeded expectations, but the same cannot be said for other places in Europe.

Deputy Ferbrache said, politically, visitors and locals who refused the vaccine would make the situation difficult regarding travel to and from the Bailiwick.

When asked whether the community vaccination centre could be in place for longer than anticipated, he said it would be ‘silly’ to reject Dr Brink’s request for extension, if she made one.

Encouraging everyone who is offered a vaccine to accept it, Dr Brink said the vaccine is proving to protect against serious illness and death from Covid-19.

It might be, if the virus mutates, that booster jabs will be necessary, similar to what happens with the flu vaccine.

As the vast majority of care home residents have now been vaccinated, the panel were asked questions about when visits can re-start.

In stage one, the current stage of the exit from lockdown, one visitor per resident will be allowed in the home following the agreed pathway and schedule as set by the home.

In stage two, the care home cell has recommended that visits return to ‘business as usual’.

Top Stories

More From The Guernsey Press

UK & International News