Islanders who got their first coronavirus vaccine dose 10 to 12 weeks ago will be able to get their second dose from next week.
Over 80s and healthcare workers will start to get text messages or emails from today (4 March), confirming the date and time for their second dose appointment.
"I’m pleased we can start administering second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to ensure our most vulnerable and at-risk Islanders receive the full course of the vaccination which offers optimum protection.
"These groups of Islanders will be the first to receive their second doses since we adopted the 10-12 week dose interval based on the JCVI guidelines which we follow.
"Completing the full cycle of the COVID-19 vaccination programme for these Islanders is incredibly positive. Despite the vaccines giving good protection after the first dose, it’s essential that Islanders attend for their second dose to make sure they’re fully vaccinated, giving themselves the best protection against COVID-19". - Becky Sherrington, Head of the Covid-19 Vaccination Programme.
This programme of second doses will continue alongside the rollout of first doses for over 50s.
Bookings for 55 to 59-year-olds opened up yesterday. 50 to 54-year-olds can book from Monday 8 March.
"I’d like to reassure Islanders that the messages have been sent to them from our vaccination team and they shouldn’t be considered a scam. The SMS messages and emails will be staggered throughout the day, so if you do not immediately receive a message from us, please be aware that it will be on the way.
"Some Islanders will have relied on family or friends to help them book their first appointment. If you booked an appointment for a family member or friend using your own phone number or email address, please make sure to look out for the correspondence and ensure the details are passed on.
"We also had fantastic support from Parishes and the voluntary and community sector for Islanders booking their first appointments. If you booked your first appointment this way, you should expect for your parish or relevant organisation to contact you with your second appointment details. If you have any questions, you can call the Coronavirus helpline who will be able to advise." - Ross Barnes, Operations Lead.
Over 80s with partners older than 75 can get their second doses at the same time if they got their first doses at the same time.
Anyone who can't make the appointment they are given can call the free coronavirus helpline on 0800 735 5566 to reschedule.
The government policy is for the same vaccine to be used for the second dose as the first.
Second doses for home visits will start today. People getting their vaccine at home will get phone calls telling them when their appointment is.