A major expansion in the Island’s rollout of booster jabs is underway. From this Saturday (18 Dec) top-up jabs will be available to all adults aged 40 and over and those in at-risk groups.
Walk-in clinics have been organised at the Chester Street vaccination hub, where an additional 3,000 slots are being made available between Saturday and Christmas Eve, in an effort to get as many booster vaccines into arms as possible. The extra slots are in addition to existing appointments – those which have been booked by people online, and those sent out by letter.
The walk-in slots are available to anyone aged 40 and over and those who are medically vulnerable regardless of whether they already have an appointment - which means people can get vaccinated sooner than was previously planned by attending a walk-in session. There is no need to cancel a booked appointment – that will be handled by the admin team at the walk-ins. Those who wish to retain their pre-booked appointments can do so, and attend as invited.
Protecting the population from serious illness caused by COVID-19 as the Omicron variant brings another wave of infections, and protecting already stretched health and care services are now urgent priorities for the government. By topping-up immunity with a booster, Island residents can protect themselves, their loved ones and the wider community against the continuing pandemic.
Minister for Health and Social Care Lawrie Hooper MHK said:
‘We are upscaling the booster vaccination rollout at pace, to get ahead of an expected surge in Omicron cases and avoid the extra demand this will place on our health and other essential services.
‘I thank all the staff who have volunteered to work extra hours to get jabs into arms, and many others across government who have volunteered to help in a range of admin roles, as without them the programme cannot proceed. It is a busy time of year for everyone, and the efforts of all involved in helping us increase capacity so swiftly in the run-up Christmas are much appreciated.
‘I urge everyone eligible for a booster to come forward and have it. If people take up the offer, we could vaccinate everyone from the age of 40 upwards before Christmas.’
While plenty of vaccine will be available each day, booked appointments will take priority and jabs will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis. It is possible depending on demand that some people will be asked to return the following day if the session they attend reaches full capacity.
These clinics are only available for the 40+ and at-risk groups, and people not yet eligible are asked not to attend. More information on boosters for the remaining population will be arranged and sessions publicised at the earliest date.