Booster jabs are being delivered at 1,000 a day

BOOSTER vaccination take-up has soared over the last five days as islanders heed calls to protect themselves from the anticipated wave of the Omicron variant.

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Since Monday, about 1,000 doses have been administered each day, as Public Health pushes vaccine protection as a first defence.

From today there is another effort to speed up the roll-out of the programme, with walk-in clinics taking place at three GP practices as sessions continue at the Community Vaccination Centre at Beau Sejour.

Booster doses will be available for anyone over the age of 30 who had their second dose of vaccine at least three months ago.

Dr Nicola Brink, the director of Public Health, said great progress had been made thanks to a huge island effort.

‘The boosting programme has gone really well this week, we’re delivering about 1,000 doses per day which is fantastic, and we hope to continue that through the weekend.

‘We want to keep encouraging people to come forward for the boosters, and I’d also like to emphasise that anyone who hasn’t had the vaccine that our evergreen offer is always there, if you’ve changed your mind you’re welcome to come back anytime.

‘It’s been busy and it’s at capacity, there are a lot of people going in and out, but the reports I’ve got, and I’ll be going up there this weekend, is that it’s all been manageable and people are being understanding.

‘We’ve just got to keep going as we roll out this booster programme as quickly as we can.’

Yesterday the number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the Bailiwick was holding steady at 715, a rise of two, and there were three people in hospital with the infection, which was unchanged.

The UK Government confirmed earlier in the week that it had secured some 450 million doses of vaccine to keep the UK and the Crown Dependencies stocked up until and including winter 2024.

Dr Brink said she hoped Covid-19 would lose its pandemic status next year.

‘I think what we need to do is consider what sort of ongoing immunisation programme we’re going to need.

‘It’s a bit like the seasonal flu vaccine, we might require some sort of regular boosting. We’re not sure what that looks like at the moment and we’ll learn more in the next few months, but we’re very grateful that we are included in that planning because obviously it’s integral to our island planning as well.’

Currently the Delta variant is dominant on the island, although it is considered likely that Omicron will eventually out-compete it because of the transmissibility.

‘Live responsibly with Covid-19’ remains the mantra of the local authorities, and Dr Brink has reminded people to take a lateral flow test before attending Christmas gatherings, and wear a mask where practical.

‘We are asking people to take personal responsibility as we go forward, and I think that’s entirely appropriate.’

. Today the CVC is open from 9.30am till 8pm, the Queens Road Surgery between 8.30am-1pm, St Sampson Surgery between 9am-2pm, and St Martin’s Surgery between 8am-2pm. Anyone attending is asked to take a lateral flow test beforehand and wear a face covering.

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