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GSD urges Govt to publish details of vaccination strategy

Vials with a sticker reading, "COVID-19 / Coronavirus vaccine / Injection only" and a medical syringe are seen in front of a displayed Pfizer logo in this illustration taken October 31, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/File Photo

The GSD has called on the Gibraltar Government to publish its vaccination strategy as it seeks clarification on how Gibraltar will roll out its first batch of 5,000 doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.

This comes after the Chief Minister announced on January 2 that Gibraltar will likely implement a “one dose strategy” in line with guidance from UK experts, delaying the second dose in order to cover almost the entire population of Gibraltar’s elderly and vulnerable community with the initial batch.

The GSD has highlighted the fact that advice for the UK would require a follow up second-dose to be administered within 12 weeks in order to provide lasting immunity against Covid-19.

Shadow Minister for Health Elliott Phillips said: “Whilst we understand that the Government is taking advice from the United Kingdom experts there is significant interest in our community as to how the Government will make the vaccine widely available once the vaccine has been provided to our vulnerable and our front-line workers.”

“It is becoming increasingly clearer that the restoration of social and economic freedoms will be linked in part to the safe vaccination of our community and therefore it is critical that the Government set out its detailed strategy and timeline for the rolling out of this important vaccine and when it expects to receive further shipments of both the Pfizer vaccine and delivery of the much-hailed Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine."

In a statement, the GSD also drew on examples of other Overseas Territories such as the Cayman Islands, which expects to make significant inroads toward widespread vaccination by the middle of March 2021.

The GSD hoped Gibraltar will follow either “a similar or improved” timetable.