Government announces winter vaccination programme

VACCINATIONS for 12 to 15 year olds and over 50s booster vaccines have been announced by the government, as part of preparations to tackle coronavirus this winter.

Picture: JON GUEGAN.
Picture: JON GUEGAN.

Parents will be able to opt in to have their children vaccinated, which will require parental written consent, with vaccinations available for young Islanders from 27 September. This follows recommendations from the UK's chief medical officers.

Booster vaccines will also be given for vulnerable Islanders, including those aged 50 and over and Islanders with underlying health conditions under 50. This programme will begin on Monday next week for care home residents, Islanders over 80 and all health and social care workers.

And annual flu vaccines will be offered free of charge to all Islanders aged 50 and older and those vulnerable to flu, with the programme expected to start from 18 October.

The government made the announcement at a press conference on Friday afternoon, and revealed that 86% of Islanders over 16 had received a Covid vaccine.

Chief Minister John Le Fondré said that vaccination had been a 'real game-changer', but added: 'This does not mean the future is without risk, but it does mean we can encourage people to make their own, informed choices about keeping themselves safe.'

Guidance has also been issued by the government to 'minimise risk' through autumn, including spending time outdoors where possible, socialising in smaller groups and Islanders considering how many larger events they attend.

All vaccinations are expected to be delivered at Fort Regent, with the exception of nursing and residential homes and other settings where residents may be unable to get to Fort Regent. A separate area will be set up for children, with a team of staff who have experience in vaccinating young people.

A full government Covid winter strategy will be published in October, the government has said.

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