Over £4m is allocated for boosters

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MORE than £4 million has been allocated for Islanders to receive up to two Covid vaccine boosters this year and money will be made available for extra jabs against new variants if needed, the government has confirmed.

A total of £4.103 million has been approved for a continuation of the vaccine programme during 2022, compared with £5.474 million that was budgeted for the 2021 roll-out.

The business case for 2022’s budget says that the funding will ensure the current booster programme is completed, including the vaccination of under-18s.

It also says this amount will provide funding for another booster jab next winter, if necessary, while indicating that money would be made available from reserves for annual boosters until 2025 should they be required.

It said: ‘This investment will enable the provision of a booster dose to Islanders aged over 18 year of age during quarter one 2022 and a second booster, if one is needed, during quarter four 2022.

‘While the first booster vaccines are being delivered to Islanders over the age of 18, funding is also provided to complete the initial two-dose vaccination of young people between the ages of 12 and 17.’

It adds: ‘In case vaccine boosters become necessary on an annual basis, funding is provided in reserves to enable a similar booster programme to be delivered for the remaining years of the Government Plan 2022–25.’

A Government of Jersey statement said that extra money would be taken from reserves if additional injections were needed this year on top of the two boosters that had already been budgeted for.

It added: ‘The vaccination programme has budgeted for a sum of £4.103 million for 2022.

‘This is seen as sufficient funding to offer boosters to the eligible population on current guidelines.

‘In the event of unforeseen requirements coming to light, for example a new vaccine for a new variant, or vaccine purchase, a further funding from reserves will be available.

‘The total spend for the vaccination programme in 2021 is currently forecast to be within the Government Plan of £5.474 million. Audited spend figures will be released in April 2022.’

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