Following the arrival in Gibraltar of an additional 8,000 doses of the Pfizer BioNtech vaccines last week, the programme to vaccinate young people in Gibraltar who wanted to take up the offer of a COVID-19 vaccine commenced yesterday. Originally planned for after the mid-term break, the early delivery of vaccines from the UK to Gibraltar meant that the team from the GHA which included nurses from ERS were able to bring forward the planned vaccination programme for young people by 2-3 weeks, allowing us to give protection to these young people and their families sooner than anticipated.
There will be an additional vaccination clinic for 12-15 year olds during November to allow young people who may have changed their minds and now want to be vaccinated, or those who were unable to be vaccinated today, to receive their vaccine.
Dr Helen Carter, Director of Public Health said: “I am delighted that we have been able to commence the vaccination programme for young people earlier than originally planned, and specifically before the mid-term break. This will help protect the overall population of Gibraltar and young people themselves from this horrible virus. This is another step along the road to helping us live with the virus. We know that the vaccine is effective in terms of preventing most of the serious consequences of this disease”.
Prof Ian Cumming, Chairman of the vaccination committee added: “Once again ‘Team GHA/ERS’ has rallied round to deliver a remarkable COVID vaccination programme for young people. This programme is in addition to the programme to deliver first doses, second doses and boosters. As of close of play last night, almost 84,000 doses of vaccine against COVID -19 have been given in Gibraltar since January 2021. Included in this figure are over 4,000 booster doses given to front line health and care staff, people over 50, and clinically vulnerable people. This phase of the vaccination programme will continue until the end of November. The UK government has confirmed that Gibraltar will continue to be supplied with vaccine to complete this phase of the programme in this time-scale”.
The Minister for Health and Care the Hon Samantha Sacramento said: “A team of over 20 GHA and ERS staff including doctors, nurses, allied health professionals and administrative staff gathered at Westside School at 08:00 on Tuesday morning to set up a temporary vaccination clinic in the school hall. Vaccination commenced at 09:00 and by 09:45 over 100 young people had been vaccinated.
The plan was to vaccinate over 700 young people by the end of the school day, however, we received a high uptake and thanks to the hard work of our dedicated staff we exceeded our expectations and vaccinated nearly 750 12-15 year olds. I would like to pass on my grateful thanks to everyone involved for their help and support in this programme, which has been a real team effort across health and education, including all the secondary schools in Gibraltar. I would also like to pass on my grateful thanks once again to the UK government for continuing to supply Gibraltar with this precious vaccine”.