Following a successful first week of the COVID-19 vaccination programme in Gibraltar, the UK has confirmed the arrival dates for the next supplies. 4875 doses of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine will arrive in Gibraltar, via the RAF tomorrow Wednesday 20th January.
A further 6825 doses will then follow ten days later, via the RAF.
These numbers are based on the assumption that we will get 6 individual doses from each vial, which has been the practice in the UK, Gibraltar and other countries where with careful extraction, 6 doses can be achieved without compromising the amount of vaccine being delivered.
Vaccination will now recommence on Thursday of this week, following the arrival of the new delivery, and the vaccination centre are now offering appointments to those who are over the age of 65 as well as to non-clinical essential front line staff.
Furthermore, on the basis of the confirmation of the delivery these further doses, as from the 1st February, 21 days after their first dose, we will then commence giving the second dose of vaccine to people in our top priority groups that received their first dose in our first group of people.
In parallel to the vaccines that will be administered at the public vaccination centre, the GHA vaccination centre will initially continue to vaccinate any remaining health and care staff and other key workers, including the Royal Gibraltar Police, the fire services, Customs, and airport staff. This will also see the vaccination of teachers, commencing with teachers from St Martin’s School, and this is aimed to commence this weekend. 21 days after their first vaccines, the GHA vaccination unit will start to give second doses to all their first group of people to be vaccinated.
Anyone over the age of 65 who has not yet been contacted for a vaccine appointment can register their interest online using this form: https://www.gha.gi/registration-for-over-65/
The Minister for Health and Care, Samantha Sacramento, said: “This is great news. Confirmation of the next deliveries of vaccine from the UK allows us to start to plan to vaccinate our next priority groups of people. At the public vaccination centre in the ICC we will now complete the vaccinations for over 70 year olds, and start inviting over 65 year olds to come forward.
“I was delighted to learn that through their skill and care, our nurses have been able to get six doses of vaccine out of all bar three vials of vaccine we have reconstituted, rather than the guaranteed five. Assuming this continues, we will be able to vaccinate 20% more people with each batch of vaccine we receive from the UK meaning some 14,000 people in Gibraltar will benefit from the additional supply from the UK that was confirmed yesterday”.
The Chief Minister, the Honourable Fabian Picardo QC MP, said: “This is excellent news for Gibraltar as we can continue with our COVID-19 vaccination programme without any delay. Gibraltar is really grateful to the UK Government for ensuring that we are continuing to receive the vaccine we need in a timely fashion. GHA staff and many other volunteers have been working tirelessly on our vaccination programme and by last night (Monday 18th January), 6435 people in Gibraltar had received their first dose of the vaccine. This includes the vast majority of over 70 year olds and most people who are clinically vulnerable, plus a range of health, care and other essential workers. For all these people their immune systems are now starting to respond and produce antibodies to the virus that causes COVID-19. Twice as many people in Gibraltar have now had their first dose of the vaccine compared to the number that have had COVID-19. The fight-back against this horrible disease is now well and truly underway in Gibraltar”.