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Island considers new covid booster programme for most vulnerable

Island considers new covid booster programme for most vulnerable

Wednesday 08 March 2023

Island considers new covid booster programme for most vulnerable

Wednesday 08 March 2023

A new phase of Covid-19 vaccination for those deemed most vulnerable is to be rolled out in the UK in the coming weeks, with officials in Jersey discussing whether the Island will follow suit.

The UK Health Security Agency said that eligible individuals would be offered a booster around six months after their previous dose. As well as over-75s and care home residents, anyone over five who was immunosuppressed would be eligible, the agency added.

Although there is no guarantee that every stage of the UK's vaccination strategy would automatically be replicated in Jersey, advice from UK experts has been followed since the first vaccines were delivered in late 2020.

The Head of the island's vaccination programme, Nneka Nlewedim-Okafor, said there would now be "local discussions" about following suit.

She said: "Islanders are vaccinated in line with recommendations as to who is eligible from the JCVI – the latest announcement regarding the 2023 spring booster will be discussed locally."

Professor Wei Shen Lim, Chair of the JCVI’s Covid-19 Committee, said: "Vaccination remains the best way to protect against Covid-19 and the spring booster programme provides an opportunity for those who are at highest risk of severe illness to keep their immunity topped up.

"This year’s spring programme will bridge the gap to the planned booster programme in the autumn, enabling those who are most vulnerable to be well-protected throughout the summer."

The first Covid-19 vaccines were delivered in both the UK and Jersey in December 2020, with the initial two-dose vaccination followed by a series of boosters for the most vulnerable.

An autumn booster programme in Jersey, which was introduced last September for over-50s and those with underlying health conditions, closed last Saturday.

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