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Expanded COVID-19 vaccination rollout begins

02 December 2021

From tomorrow, Friday 3 December, Jersey's Vaccination Programme will begin its rollout of the new expanded vaccination programme. This follows the latest guidance from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) in response to the emergence of the Omicron variant.

From Friday 3 December at 00:01:

  • the booster dose interval for all Islanders aged 40 years and over will be reduced from 6 months to 3 months. This means any Islander who received a second dose 3 or more months ago can book a booster dose of the Pfizer vaccine
  • second dose appointments for Islanders aged 12 to 15 years old will open 12 weeks after their first dose. Second doses of the Pfizer vaccine will be given at the Vaccination Centre and not as part of the schools programme
  • booster doses (fourth doses) for all immunosuppressed Islanders. The vaccination team will be making contact will all Islanders who are immunosuppressed to arrange an appointment for a fourth dose.

Booster doses for remaining Islanders aged 18 to 39 will be administered at the Vaccination Centre from the start of 2022. These doses of the Pfizer vaccine will also be offered three months after a second dose. The vaccination team aim to offer an appointment to all eligible Islanders before the end of January.

Booster dose vaccination appointments for 18–34-year-olds are outlined below. These dates are subject to movement. 

Age Booster bookings open

35 to 39 years old

Monday 3 January

30 to 34 years old

Monday 10 January

25 to 29 years old

Monday 17 January

18 to 24 years old

Monday 24 January

As a result of the expanded programme to provide more COVID-19 vaccines, the flu vaccine is no longer available at Fort Regent, but will continue to be offered by GPs and pharmacies. The flu vaccine remains free of charge for all Islanders in at-risk flu groups, including all Islanders aged 50 years old and over.

While expanded appointments will be available from Friday, Islanders may not be able to book as soon as they would like. An additional 6,000 appointments will go live from tomorrow, but due to demand, the next available appointments will be from early next week. Islanders are thanked for their patience as the team work to roll out the vaccine at pace and are reminded of the importance to book as soon as possible to avoid delay.

Minister for Health and Social Services, Deputy Richard Renouf, said: "The booster rollout for eligible Islanders so far has been extremely well received, with more than 32,000 booster doses administered, and 91% of Islanders over the age of 80 having received a booster dose.

"It is incredibly encouraging news that we will be offering a second dose of the vaccine to younger Islanders aged 12-15 years old. I would like to thank everyone who has attended for a vaccination so far, and would encourage anyone who hasn't yet attended to book their first dose."

Deputy Medical Officer of Health, Dr Ivan Muscat, said: "A booster dose for Islanders aged 18 and over, as well as a second dose for young people aged 12-15 years old, will help to increase our level of protection against COVID this winter, and in particular the Omicron variant. While we are yet to have a confirmed case of Omicron on Island, we do expect the variant to reach us, and getting vaccinated is the most important way to reduce its impact on our lives.

"A booster dose of the Pfizer vaccine is shown to substantially increase antibody levels and will provide Islanders with the best possible protection, as immunity from the first and second doses begins to wane.

"The Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory products Agency (MHRA) have supported the JCVI's recommendation to decrease the dose interval for boosters from 6 to 3 months. The MHRA's monitoring shows that COVID-19 vaccines continue to be safe and effective, and the MHRA continue to carefully review all the data. Their robust surveillance programme includes monitoring safety data for young people as well as adults.

"If you are a young person who is eligible for a second dose of the vaccine or an adult who is eligible for a booster dose, I urge you to book your appointment as soon as it is available to you. Equally, if you have not yet received a first dose of the vaccine, please do book an appointment; it's not too late to start protecting yourself."

Head of the Vaccination Programme, Becky Sherrington said: "I am pleased that we are now ready to expand the vaccination programme following the advice of the JCVI. From midnight tonight, many more Islanders will be eligible for vaccination - whether that is for their second dose or booster dose.

"Second doses for 12 to 15 year olds will not be part of the schools programme and will only be administered at Fort Regent by booked appointment. I'd like to remind parents and guardians that they must attend with their child as parental consent will be required at the appointment. There must be an interval of 12 weeks between the child's first and second dose, so please only book once this interval is complete. Young Islanders aged under 18 are still able to walk into Fort Regent without a booked appointment for their first dose.

"Similar to the UK, we are rolling out the expanded vaccination programme in stages, so all adults under the age of 40 will be able to get their booster dose in the new year. This may change depending on how quickly the rollout progresses, and if we are able to move it into this side of the year, then we will.

"It is great to see the increased demand for vaccination, but I'd just like to ask Islanders to be patient when booking appointments. Currently, the next available appointments start early next week. The team is working hard to accommodate the demand so we can vaccinate more Islanders during this busy festive season, and in the face of the new Omicron variant. Vaccination remains to be the best defence we have against COVID-19, so please do not delay booking your appointments for yourself and family."

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