Following decisions by the UK Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation and the UK Chief Medical Officers to change the vaccination protocol in the UK, the Director of Public Health, Dr Helen Carter, has recommended changes to the vaccination programme in Gibraltar. These changes are based on new evidence about vaccine safety and efficacy and also in response to the Omicron variant, as advised by the World Health Organisation
With effect from today the following changes will be introduced:
All people in Gibraltar aged 16 and over will now be offered a booster dose. Booster doses can now be given from three months after the second dose of vaccine.
Minister of Health and Care the Hon Samantha Sacramento said, “We are very grateful to the UK Government for continuing to supply Gibraltar with all the vaccine we need to help our fight against COVID-19. As a result of the on-going support from the UK there are currently over 15,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine in our ultra-low temperature freezers here in Gibraltar. This means we can immediately respond to the changes to the advice about vaccination to respond to the Omicron variant. The vaccination team are increasing both the number of vaccinators and opening hours of the clinic to get vaccine into people’s arms as soon as possible.
Dr Helen Carter said, “The UK Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation has carefully considered the latest evidence both about the safety of the COVID-19 vaccine and also the potential impact of the Omicron variant of COVID-19. I have now considered their recommendations and advised the government here in Gibraltar that we should extend the scope of the vaccination programme by offering a booster dose to everyone aged over 16, at least three months after their second dose. I have also reviewed the safety data locally to determine whether to offer 12-15 year old a second dose of the vaccine and can confirm that these doses will be available in the New Year. However, these second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine will be administered no less than three months after the first dose for this age group. I would encourage young people and their families to read the information that we’ve updated in light of this offer of a second dose for this age group”.
The GHA will continue to call people for booster doses in age order. People aged over 40 who would like a booster dose and have not yet been called are now asked to register their interest on-line via – https://www.gha.gi/pfizerbooster/