11,700 vaccine doses expected soon
Some 11,700 doses of the Covid-19 Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine are expected to arrive in Gibraltar by the end of the month.
The first batch containing 4,875 doses will arrive on Wednesday, January 20, on an RAF flight.
Ten days later, Gibraltar expects to receive a second batch of vaccines containing 6,825 doses.
“These numbers are based on the assumption that we will get 6 individual doses from each vial, which has been the practice in the UK, Gibraltar and other countries where with careful extraction, six doses can be achieved without compromising the amount of vaccine being delivered,” a statement from No.6 Convent Place said.
On Tuesday, the Gibraltar Government reported 6,435 people had received their first dose of the vaccine.
The vaccination programme will recommence this Thursday, following the arrival of the new delivery.
The vaccination centre is now offering appointments to those who are over the age of 65 as well as to non-clinical essential front line staff.
“This is excellent news for Gibraltar as we can continue with our Covid-19 vaccination programme without any delay,” Chief Minister Fabian Picardo said.
“Gibraltar is really grateful to the UK Government for ensuring that we are continuing to receive the vaccine we need in a timely fashion.”
“GHA staff and many other volunteers have been working tirelessly on our vaccination programme and by last night (Monday, January 18), 6435 people in Gibraltar had received their first dose of the vaccine.”
“This includes the vast majority of over 70-year-olds and most people who are clinically vulnerable, plus a range of health, care and other essential workers.”
“For all these people their immune systems are now starting to respond and produce antibodies to the virus that causes Covid-19.”
“Twice as many people in Gibraltar have now had their first dose of the vaccine compared to the number that have had Covid-19. The fight-back against this horrible disease is now well and truly underway in Gibraltar.”
The Government added on the basis that it receives these extra doses, people will be receiving their second dose as from February 1, 21 days after their first dose.
“This is great news,” Minister for Health and Care, Samantha Sacramento, said.
“Confirmation of the next deliveries of vaccine from the UK allows us to start to plan to vaccinate our next priority groups of people.”
“At the public vaccination centre in the ICC we will now complete the vaccinations for over 70-year-olds and start inviting over 65-year-olds to come forward.”
“I was delighted to learn that through their skill and care, our nurses have been able to get six doses of vaccine out of all bar three vials of vaccine we have reconstituted, rather than the guaranteed five.”
“Assuming this continues, we will be able to vaccinate 20% more people with each batch of vaccine we receive from the UK meaning some 14,000 people in Gibraltar will benefit from the additional supply from the UK that was confirmed yesterday.”
Once the doses are received the GHA vaccination centre will initially continue to vaccinate any remaining health and care staff and other key workers, including the Royal Gibraltar Police, the fire services, Customs, and airport staff.
The campaign will also see teachers vaccinated, commencing with teachers from St Martin’s School.
The Government has asked anyone over the age of 65 who has not yet been contacted for a vaccine appointment to register their interest online using this form: https://www.gha.gi/registration-for-over-65/
The Government has also extended the vaccination programme for Category 2 individuals who are not eligible for GHA healthcare and are required to have private medical insurance.
“Category 2 individuals will understand and appreciate the importance and significance of this measure in Gibraltar caring for all of our residents. It has also exceptionally been decided that no fee will be charged for either the vaccine or its administration,” the Government said.
“As with the remainder of our community, Category 2 individuals are also invited to make any donation toward the GHA Covid-19 Fund in appreciation of this support being offered to them.”
A separate registration system has been set up and any Category 2 registered individuals who wish to take up this offer.
They can register online via: https://www.gha.gi/requests-by-cat-2-individuals/
Appointments will be offered in the same order of the priority categories in which applicants fall.