17 September 2021
Our vaccination programme in Jersey has been hugely successful in protecting Islanders against hospitalisation and serious illness, with 86% of Islanders aged 16 and over having had their first dose and 84% of adults now fully vaccinated.
On Monday, we also celebrated reaching 150,000 doses of the COVID vaccine being administered in Jersey, which is a phenomenal achievement, and I would like to thank everyone who has received their vaccine and the vaccination team behind its success.
This week, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation confirmed that a third 'booster' dose of the Pfizer vaccine should be offered to those who are more at risk of serious disease, and those who were vaccinated in the early stages of the vaccination programme.
It is incredibly important that we do everything possible to extend the protection that vaccination affords, and to ensure our most vulnerable Islanders are protected from COVID-19.
Our dedicated vaccination team have been working over recent months to ensure that we are operationally ready to start a booster programme as soon as the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation issued their final guidance.
Now we have received this guidance, I am extremely pleased to confirm that Jersey's Vaccination Programme is ready to start giving COVID-19 boosters at pace to provide protection as we move into Autumn and Winter.
Jersey's booster programme will start from this coming Monday – that's Monday 20September - and will include the following priority groups that we have seen previously in the earlier phases of the programme:
- Islanders living in residential care homes
- all adults aged 50 years or over
- all health and social care workers
- all Islanders aged 16 to 49 years with underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk of severe COVID-19, including adult carers
- adult household contacts of immunosuppressed individuals
From this coming Monday, the booster programme will start in care homes for care home residents and at Fort Regent for all Islanders aged 80 and over, as well as all Health and Social Care workers, regardless of setting or role. This also includes all care home staff, home care staff and social workers and any non-clinical staff.
From Monday 27 September, Islanders aged 70 and over will be able to book and attend for vaccination at Fort Regent.
On Monday 4 October, all Islanders aged 16-69 who are clinically extremely vulnerable or clinically at risk will be able to book and attend for their vaccine, followed by all Islanders aged 60 years and over on Monday 11 October.
Appointments for Islanders aged 50 years and over will open on Monday 18th October and Monday 25th October will see appointments open for adult household contacts of immunosuppressed individuals as well as adult carers.
However, the JCVI have been clear in their guidance that a booster dose of the vaccine can only be given to those who are eligible 6 months after their second dose.
This means that, while we're able to offer the majority of the 45,000 Islanders eligible for a booster an appointment by the end of November, some Islanders who had their vaccine later on in phase 1 of the programme won't be eligible for a booster until next year.
Islanders eligible for a booster dose should check the date of their second dose by looking at their COVID Status Certification document. Please check that 6 months has passed since your second dose before you book your booster appointment, or you will risk being turned away at the vaccination centre.
If you're in an eligible tier for booster vaccination and plan to attend your appointment alongside another eligible person in your household, and 6 months has passed since your second dose, you can book an appointment together and receive your vaccine at the same time.
For those who are able, please remember that booking your appointment online is preferable, and is extremely quick and easy. Islanders are also able to book an appointment by calling the Coronavirus helpline on 0800 735 5566.
If you have a family member or friend who is eligible for a booster dose who doesn't have access to the internet, please assist them by booking their appointment online for them.
Home visits for Islanders who are housebound and are unable to attend the vaccination centre will continue to be offered. In addition to the COVID booster, the free flu vaccination programme will be offered to Islanders aged 50 and over, and to those in at risk flu groups.
This year's flu vaccination programme is expected to start from Monday 18 October. The JCVI has advised that the flu and COVID booster vaccines can be administered together to those who are eligible, and we aim for this offering to be available at the vaccination centre at Fort Regent from the 18th October. We are finalising our plans and further information on where the flu vaccine will be available for all other Islanders will follow in the coming weeks.
Receiving the flu vaccination is more important than ever this year. Due to the reduction of international travel last year and the use of face masks, hand washing and physical distancing, we expect the flu virus to be much more prevalent this year. So, protecting yourself from flu while COVID and other respiratory viruses are in circulation is incredibly important.
I would like to stress to everyone who is eligible for a COVID booster to book and attend your appointment as soon as you are eligible. Do not hold off to receive both flu and COVID booster vaccines at the same time. It is vital you receive your booster dose as soon as you are eligible and to attend for your flu vaccination once the vaccine arrives on Island.