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Vaccine arrival an "extremely exciting day"

Vaccine arrival an

Saturday 12 December 2020

Vaccine arrival an "extremely exciting day"

Saturday 12 December 2020


Health & Social Care has approved the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine for use in the Bailiwick, and the first batch of 975 doses has arrived in Guernsey.

Vaccinations are expected to begin for frontline workers and residential or care home staff next Thursday.

The Emma Ferbrache Room at the Princess Elizabeth Hospital will be used as a "second, smaller" vaccination centre, before Beau Sejour is used for other priority groups. Director of Public Health Dr Nicola Brink described the process by which these vaccinations will be administered.

"We can't immunise every member of a single group at the same time; the vaccine can cause some pain in the arm, some people might get a slight fever or feel a bit flu-like," she said.

"As a point of business continuity we're going to cycle people into the vaccination programme."

covid-19_pfizer_vaccine.jpg

Pictured: the vaccination programme's chief aims are to 'reduce morbidity and mortality in the most vulnerable groups', as well as to 'protect our health and care systems'.

As the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine is difficult to transport once it is defrosted, Sark and Alderney residents who are in the first priority group will be brought over to Guernsey and inoculated in the PEH, to ensure there is equity between the islands.

Dr Brink also made it clear that Public Health is keeping an eye on the "rapidly moving field" of vaccinations, including the Oxford vaccine, which was recently submitted for approval and does not share the same transportation issues as the Pfizer vaccine.

"All the time, we're looking at vaccine availability, how we can immunise, how we can optimise plans to make sure we deliver a vaccine as fast as possible, but also in as safe a manner as possible, to all the eligible groups."

"We are in an extremely fortunate position, as we go into the immunisation programme, to have no evidence of community transmission," she said, adding that the arrival of the vaccine was "extremely exciting", and a "light at the end of the tunnel." She also took the time to thank the community for adhering to the guidelines and requirements set out by Public Health.

Airport_testing_facility.jpg

Pictured: so far in December, over 1,000 passengers have chosen to take a test on arrival - with an 80% uptake rate. 

"I'd like to pay tribute to the students that have come in. They've complied to the guidance we've given them, they've had their tests, and we really are really grateful to all they've done.

As we move towards the Christmas period, it's just for me to remind you about the most important things about staying healthy over the winter. Hand hygiene, stay at home if you're unwell; that'll really help us as we move through the winter season."

Some of the people who are eligible for vaccinations from the first tranche have already been contacted.

Pictured: Director of Public Health Dr Nicola Brink

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