Booster programme is expanded to all adults

ALL adults should be offered booster jabs by the end of January, the States of Guernsey has confirmed.

Coivd-19 Vaccination Centre at Beau Sejour (30266053)
Coivd-19 Vaccination Centre at Beau Sejour (30266053)

Following the recent UK changes, young people aged between 12 and 15 will also be offered a second dose of Covid-19 vaccine.

Health & Social Care has announced a raft of changes, which it is aiming to implement as soon as possible.

This includes cutting the gap between second jabs and boosters from six months to three months for over 18s.

Appointments will be offered in descending age groups, with priority being given to older adults and those at risk.

A second dose of vaccine to be offered to young people aged 12 to 15 years with a 12-week gap between the two doses.

Patients who meet the criteria will be sent a letter with an appointment date and time for their booster/second dose. They will be asked to attend their vaccination appointment within a one-hour time slot.

In a bid to cope with the increased workload, the Community Vaccination Centre at Beau Sejour will be open seven days a week between 9.30am and 8pm.

People must bring their appointment letter to the Community Vaccination Centre.

So far about half over 50s have had their booster and Guernsey had been starting to offer booster slots for over 40s. About 95% of local adults have had at least one jab.

HSC president Al Brouard said the announcement of Omicron variant had led to the acceleration of the booster deployment in the UK and Guernsey.

'We have, and continue to, follow JCVI advice on these matters and will be accelerating our own programme to ensure as many islanders as possible have maximum Covid-19 protection before the end of the year,' he said.

'I would like to thank, once again, the Committee for Education, Sport & Culture along with Beau Sejour users, for their patience as we continue to utilise the leisure centre to deliver this programme.'

Medical Director Dr Peter Rabey said the booster programme was essential to protect islanders' health.

'An analysis of the individuals who have been admitted into hospital in this most recent 'wave' shows that the 8% of unvaccinated adults (aged 18 or over) in Guernsey have accounted for 41% of the PEH admissions related to Covid-19 but, more concerningly, 71% of those requiring High Dependency Unit/Intensive Care Unit admissions,' he said.

'Some of the patients who required intensive care have had lengthy stays in hospital which means that these specialist beds cannot be used for other patients.'

In this wave there have been 17 Covid-19 related admissions to the PEH - 10 were vaccinated and seven were unvaccinated.

Operational Delivery and Support strategic lead Jason Moriarty said that to accelerate the delivery of the programme, and to use resources as efficiently as possible, they had changed how people will be invited to the Community Vaccination Centre.

'We anticipate that this should also reduce the wait times both at the vaccine drop ins and on the phone lines,' he said.

'Those eligible for a booster vaccine, or a second dose. will be sent a letter with an appointment date and time. We are encouraging individuals to make every effort to prioritise these appointments and attend for their vaccine at their allotted time. We are also asking employers to support the release of staff if their appointment falls within working hours wherever this is practically possible to do so.

'If anyone has exceptional circumstances which means they are unable to attend at their allotted time, we would ask that they call 01481 220006 or email in order to make alternative arrangements and to free up that appointment for another person.'

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