Saturday 11th December has seen an additional 10,000 doses of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine arrive in Gibraltar having been flown from the UK by the RAF.
The Minister of Health, the Hon Samantha Sacramento MP said: “Once again on behalf of the people of Gibraltar I would like to thank the UK Government for ensuring that we have all the vaccine we need to continue the fight against the virus that causes COVID-19.
“As at close of play on Thursday 9th December our vaccination teams have delivered over 103,000 doses of vaccine, a truly remarkable effort. Over 22,000 people have now received a booster dose. Whilst this is good progress, it does mean that only just over half of the people that had the initial two doses of vaccine have received a booster.
“These additional supplies means we now have enough vaccine in Gibraltar to complete our booster programme and to continue to offer first/second doses of the vaccine to those who wish to take up the invitation, the public are of course encouraged to do so, especially before the Christmas period”.
The COVID-19 Vaccination Centre at the Children’s PCC will be open Monday 13th December to Friday 17th December from 09:00-20:00 on a drop-in basis. Anyone eligible for a booster or first/second dose of the vaccine is strongly encouraged to attend.
After next week, the vaccination centre will only be open on Tuesday 21st December (from 09:00 to 20:00).
As a reminder, the current guidelines are that anyone 16 and over is eligible for a booster dose a minimum of 3 months after their second dose of the vaccine.
Children who are between 12-15 years old who still wish to be vaccinated with their first dose may also attend the drop in clinic, with their consent forms that are available from the GHA or the Department of Education and they may be accompanied by their parents.
Young people aged 12-15 will be able to have a second dose of the vaccine a minimum of 3 months after their first dose. No decisions have yet been made about vaccinating children younger than 12 years of age.
Professor Ian Cumming, chair of the vaccination committee in Gibraltar added: “We have confirmed to have the first case of the COVID-19 Omicron variant detected in Gibraltar. To maximise protection against this variant specifically, as well as Delta and other variants of the virus, people need to receive a booster dose of the vaccine. I cannot recommend strongly enough that anyone who has not yet been boosted should come forward as soon as possible to receive this so they can be protected before the Christmas and New Year holidays to protect themselves and their families. Although the booster starts to work straight away, maximum protection given by the booster occurs by two weeks after the booster dose is given”.
Minister for Health Samantha Sacramento said: “Our booster vaccination programme is progressing well and we are extremely grateful to have received more doses of the vaccine to enable us to continue our vaccination programme for the whole community. Given that as a community, we are more likely to socialise more than usual in the coming weeks, it is important that as many people as possible avail themselves of the opportunity of taking the vaccine this side of the festive period so that we can have the safest possible Christmas with our loved ones”.