Island residents will be offered the new Moderna bivalent COVID vaccine in the autumn rollout, following the latest advice from the UK’s Joint Commission of Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).
The new bivalent vaccine targets two different variants of coronavirus– the original strain and the newer Omicron variant, and will be offered to those eligible along with other booster vaccines available.
Interim Director of Public Health, Professor Hugo Van Woerden:
‘The bivalent version of the Moderna vaccine has been approved for use by the UK’s medicines regulator. Over the course of the pandemic, COVID has evolved into different variants and the new vaccine has been adapted to provide protection against two strains of the virus, with the ability to lead to a broader immune response than the original vaccine.’
Minister for Health and Social Care, Lawrie Hooper MHK said:
‘It is great news that we will be following the UK and offering the new vaccine as part of the autumn booster programme. The available boosters provide good protection against severe illness from COVID, which is important as we move into the winter when respiratory illnesses are at their peak.
‘I would particularly encourage those with long term health conditions to take up the offer when invited, whichever vaccine is on offer. The vaccine will increase the Island’s overall protection against the virus, and help prevent any added pressures on our key services.
‘If you have not yet had any of your primary doses, there is still time to come forward and take up the evergreen offer, just register by emailing email@example.com or calling 111.’
Manx Care will confirm details on how and when eligible people can receive the autumn booster vaccine in due course – members of the public are being urged not to call 111 until this has been announced. A list of those eligible for the autumn booster can be found on the website.