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Vaccine rollout for 12 to 15 year olds begins

Nearly 750 school pupils in Gibraltar received the Covid-19 vaccine on Tuesday as the vaccination programme for 12 to 15 year olds commenced in Westside School.

The recent arrival of an additional 8,000 doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines last week brought the programme ahead by two to three weeks instead of being administrated during the mid-term break.

There will be an additional vaccination clinic for 12 to 15 year olds during November to allow young people who may have changed their minds and now want to be vaccinated, or those who were unable to be vaccinated today, to receive their vaccine, a spokesman for No.6 Convent Place said.

The rollout of the vaccination programme was welcomed by those in the GHA and Public Health Gibraltar.

Dr Helen Carter, Director of Public Health said: “I am delighted that we have been able to commence the vaccination programme for young people earlier than originally planned, and specifically before the mid-term break.”

“This will help protect the overall population of Gibraltar and young people themselves from this horrible virus.”

“This is another step along the road to helping us live with the virus.”

“We know that the vaccine is effective in terms of preventing most of the serious consequences of this disease”.

Professor Ian Cumming, chairman of the vaccination committee, said “Team GHA/ERS” has rallied round to deliver a remarkable Covid vaccination programme for young people.

This is being run in addition to the programme to deliver first doses, second doses and booster jots.

“As of close of play last night, almost 84,000 doses of vaccine against Covid-19 have been given in Gibraltar since January 2021,” Prof Cumming said.

“Included in this figure are over 4,000 booster doses given to front line health and care staff, people over 50, and clinically vulnerable people.”

“This phase of the vaccination programme will continue until the end of November.”

“The UK government has confirmed that Gibraltar will continue to be supplied with vaccine to complete this phase of the programme in this time-scale”.

The Minister for Health and Care, Samantha Sacramento, said: “A team of over 20 GHA and ERS staff including doctors, nurses, allied health professionals and administrative staff gathered at Westside School at 8am on Tuesday morning to set up a temporary vaccination clinic in the school hall.”

“Vaccination commenced at 9am and by 9.45am over 100 young people had been vaccinated.”

“The plan was to vaccinate over 700 young people by the end of the school day, however, we received a high uptake and thanks to the hard work of our dedicated staff we exceeded our expectations and vaccinated nearly 750 12 to 15-year olds.”

“I would like to pass on my grateful thanks to everyone involved for their help and support in this programme, which has been a real team effort across health and education, including all the secondary schools in Gibraltar.”

“I would also like to pass on my grateful thanks once again to the UK government for continuing to supply Gibraltar with this precious vaccine.”

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