The Astra Zenica Covid vaccine will be administered with a larger gap between the first and second dose from now on after research indicated that a longer interval increases its efficacy.
Health and Social Care President Al Brouard said it meant some appointments for second doses would be rescheduled.
Up until now medics had aimed for a six week gap between the first and second doses. However they are now advised that a longer period increases its effectiveness so from now on the second dose will be administered 10 weeks after the first one.
A total of 16,000 vaccines have been administered in the Bailiwick so far; 13,000 people have been given their first dose and 3,000 have also had their second dose.
Anyone in the 70-79 age bracket who has been booked in for their vaccine will be written to. This letter will explain the decision and provide a rescheduled appointment date and time for the recipient’s second dose, to align with the updated strategy. If anyone cannot make their new appointment time they will be able to call and reschedule, and the details will be included in the letter.
President for Health for Health & Social Care, Deputy Al Brouard said:
‘We have always said that we will be informed by the evidence in shaping our vaccination programme and this continues to be the case. New scientific evidence has emerged in respect of how we can ensure that the vaccines administered are as effective as possible. Significantly, there is now clear evidence that by leaving a longer gap between doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, the second dose is more effective, providing more protection to the individual.
‘At the recommendation of the Director of Public Health, Dr Nicola Brink, and her team, the Committee for Health & Social Care has therefore agreed that locally the second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine should be scheduled for 10 weeks after the first dose rather than the existing plan of six weeks.’
Those who have already had their second dose of AstraZeneca at the existing six-week interval should remain confident that they will still go on to develop a high level of protection against infection. A longer gap has just been proven to create an even greater level of protection.
Twelve new Covid cases were discovered yesterday and just one of them was from an unknown community source. Five of the cases were from one family.
At the Covid briefing today the Civil Contingency Authority reminded viewers that facemasks were mandatory from Saturday.
The CAA is considering a relaxation to restrictions by moving to Recovery Stage 1 next Thursday. Any changes will be announced at next Wednesday’s Covid briefing.
Dr Nicola Brink, Director of Public Health, said: ‘If next week we have a situation where we can control individual cases there is no reason that we can’t move forward. But it will really depend on the next three days. It is a really important weekend.’
Within this stage, two households will be able to bubble and outdoor gatherings of up to 5 people, maintaining a minimum of 2m social distance, can take place.
Non-public facing work places will be able to operate with:
- Up to 10 members of staff for outdoor sites
- Up to 5 members of staff for indoor sites where the work cannot be done remotely
Social distancing must be observed and sufficient handwashing facilities provided.
Deliveries and takeaways are able to operate within the parameters and requirements of this stage.
This includes but is not limited to, finance, legal and professional services including property transactions, ICT and communications, bulk mailing and fulfilment, light manufacturing, catering, non-essential retail where goods can be sold online and delivered, construction with strict limit/conditions on non-resident workers, marine, motor vehicle and other repairs.
There will be a requirement on businesses to notify the States of Guernsey of their intention to operate and to maintain records, demonstrating that they are working to a clear method statement.
Criteria for moving to the next stage:
- No new clusters of infections or individual cases of infection that cannot be controlled by ‘Test, Track and Isolate’;
- Adequate hospital, primary care, community and emergency service capacity;
- Continued local testing;
- Surveillance programme;
- Continued roll-out of vaccine;
- Public adherence