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COVID-19 Vaccine – booster dose offered to immunocompromised individuals – 42/2022

By January 19, 2022 No Comments

The GHA is inviting a small number of immunocompromised patients to receive a 4th dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. These individuals were identified by their doctors in the autumn as having the ability to benefit from a third primary dose of the vaccine before a booster dose.

The reason for offering a third primary dose was because people with weakened immune systems need a third dose to help them to develop a good antibody response to protect them from disease. They are now being invited for a booster dose, which will be the fourth vaccination against COVID-19 that this group will receive.

The GHA is not offering a fourth dose to the wider population at this time but keeping this under active review.

COVID-19 vaccine clinics are available every night this week at the main Primary Care Centre. Walk-ins will be accepted between 5:00pm and 7:30pm, whilst pre-booked appointments will take place between 5:00pm and 8:00pm. Anyone who has not yet received a COVID-19 booster should register their interest here: https://www.gha.gi/pfizerbooster/

Director of Public Health, Dr Helen Carter, said: ‘It is important for individuals who had 3 primary doses of the vaccine to take up the offer of a 4th dose of the vaccine as a booster. The GHA is in the process of telephoning people inviting them to attend for vaccination and I would strongly encourage everyone to attend because the vaccine is protecting people against the potential severe consequences of the disease, including hospitalisation. Doctors reviewed the lists of their patients before the launch of the booster program and identified a small number of patients who may have been severely immunocompromised at the time they had their first and second doses of vaccine who had the ability to benefit from a third primary dose in line with the JCVI guidance. It is now time for these individuals to be offered a booster dose.’

Minister for Health, the Hon Samantha Sacramento said: ‘I am pleased that the GHA is able to offer a carefully selected groups of patients a fourth dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, especially considering the high levels of circulating virus in Gibraltar at this time.’