Stage two of vaccine rollout this weekend

ISLANDERS in their 40s will start to receive Covid-19 vaccinations this weekend, health officials have confirmed.

Picture: ROB CURRIE. (30595327)
Picture: ROB CURRIE. (30595327)

Those aged 45 to 49 can now book their appointments, with the first jabs in phase two of Jersey’s vaccination programme due to be delivered on Sunday at Fort Regent.

The start of the second phase comes as the latest data show the Island’s programme is moving at a record pace, with almost 45,000 people having received their first dose, and just over half of them also having been given their second jab.

It has also been confirmed that Jersey will follow the UK in offering alternative vaccines to those aged under 30 as a result of rare blood-clotting issues reported in the UK by those who had received the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Deputy medical officer of health Dr Ivan Muscat said that while the risk of clotting was just one in 250,000, and was outweighed by the risks of Covid-19, it was ‘prudent’ to make other vaccines available (see page six of Friday's JEP).

During the coming weeks, Islanders aged 50 and above will continue to be called for their second doses, while those under 50 will become eligible for a first dose as follows:

  • 45-to-49-year-olds: booking now open at gov.je/vaccine for appointments from Sunday.

  • 40-to-44-year-olds: booking from Monday for appointments from Wednesday 14 April.

  • 30-to-39-year-olds: booking due to open in early May.

  • 18 to 29-year-olds: booking due to open in late May.

The total number of doses administered in Jersey by the end of Easter Sunday was 67,760, equating to a figure of 62.9 doses for every 100 people. The Island continues to benchmark well against the UK, which reported a figure of 54.5 doses per 100 people for the same day. Comparative figures per 100 people were 64.1 for the Isle of Man, 56.7 for Guernsey and 19.1 for the European Union.

The total number of vaccines administered during the ten days up to and including yesterday was 8,648. Programme head Becky Sherrington said the progress represented ‘the light at the end of the tunnel for Jersey’.

The latest figures for different age brackets were also revealed, with every group from 55 to 59 and upwards registering at least 90% take-up for a first dose. The proportion of 50-to-54-year-olds covered so far is 82% and further members of this group were being seen this week, officials said.

Operations lead Ross Barnes confirmed that while some Islanders waiting for a second dose of the AstraZeneca jab may face a shorter wait than those due a second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, everyone should receive their second dose within the maximum recommended interval of 12 weeks.

There will shortly be a third vaccine available for Islanders. The Moderna vaccine gained regulatory approval in January and the Island has recently placed its first order after stocks became available.

Health Minister Richard Renouf said: ‘This has always been a community effort and all the public-health measures we have taken so far have been to protect our population and especially our most vulnerable. Getting vaccinated is no different and vaccination will keep this virus at bay while we continue to reconnect with our sense of normality by working through the stages of reopening.’

Jersey’s number of known active cases remained at five yesterday, with just one positive case having been reported so far in April. No Islanders are receiving hospital treatment for the virus.

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