Gibraltar Chronicle Logo
Local News

Covid booster campaign for over 75s gets under way

Photo by Peter Byrne/PA.

A spring Covid booster campaign for older members of the community started on Tuesday, as Dr Helen Carter, the Director of Public Health, urged people aged over 75 to take up the offer of a jab.

For over 75s, immunity to Covid-19 is strongest for about six months after a vaccine or contact with the virus, she said, adding that after that period, the protection starts to wane.

Immunity for older people drops faster than for younger people and this means the GHA is recommending over 75s to take up the booster vaccines twice a year.

Dr Carter said that as immunity to Covid-19 wanes for those over 75, the chance of a potentially serious Covid infection increases threefold.

The Director of Public Health said there will be 4,500 Moderna vaccines on offer which provides immunity against the Delta and Omicron strains, as part of a spring booster campaign that started on Tuesday.

She told the Chronicle she expects 2,000 of these vaccines to be taken up in the campaign.

The spring booster campaign is only open to over 75s and those who have a severely weakened immune systems as a result of unrelated illness or treatment..

Over 5,600 took up the Covid booster jabs during the autumn/winter campaign which began in October last year.

But over two years since the start of the pandemic, Dr Carter acknowledged that she is concerned about vaccine hesitancy and fatigue.

"Vaccine hesitancy worries me, yes absolutely it concerns me," she said.

She hopes the over 75s will continue taking up their vaccines and within the next couple weeks will attend the walk-in sessions at the Primary Care Centre between 1pm and 4pm daily.

"75-year old plus, your immune system doesn't work quite as well, and that would be why I would encourage them to have this booster once every six months," she said.

The vaccine will not prevent a Covid infection but could reduce its severity, she said.

She added side effects are rare and tend to be short-lived.

"These are predominately safe vaccines, [though] rare side effects always happen, we can't ever say never," she said.

The GHA Public Health website has been updated to provide new information on the vaccine.

Most Read

Download The App On The iOS Store