The roll out of 300 doses of the Oxford Astra Zeneca vaccination began on Monday January 11 after a special meeting of the States of Alderney enacted an Ordinance to protect medical professionals from civil liability.
This means that vaccinations could immediately be given to the Island’s elderly at the Connaught Care Home along with frontline medical professionals.
Guernsey Health & Social Care allocated 300 of its 500 doses to Alderney as the earlier Pfizer BioNTech vaccination, which has to be stored at -70 degrees centigrade, so could not be transported to the island. The Astra Zeneca vaccination needs only normal refrigeration.
States Member Kevin Gentle and the President’s office worked with civil servants and law officers to ensure speedy adoption of legislation to give medical professionals immunity from civil liability. Such blanket immunity was needed because, although approved by the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), the vaccination is as yet unregulated.
When vaccines for COVID-19 receive full authorisation from the MHRA or the European Medicines Agency, it is expected that any potential issues or risks associated with their use would be insurable by the States of Guernsey in the normal way.
The matter was originally on the Billet for the States of Alderney meeting on Wednesday, January 13, but was put before a special meeting to enable the earliest possible roll-out of the vaccination.
“This ordinance is a carbon copy of the one adopted in Guernsey” said Mr Gentle. “It ensures that anyone lawfully involved in supplying, distributing or administering a vaccine with temporary approval is fully protected and cannot as an individual be subject to civil liability for loss or damages.”
States of Alderney President William Tate stressed that the Alderney Government was acting in accordance with the law following the advice of the Crown Law Officers. The timing of the States Meeting had met with the
full approval of Health & Social Care and the Island Medical Centre.
“We did this as quickly and professionally as possible within the terms of the Government of Alderney Law.” he said.
For more information and guidance please visit covid19.gov.gg