Approximately 300 people will receive their first dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine today, February 8.
The Falkland Islands Defence Force (FIDF) hall will be the location for the programme which will run for five days. The outer Islands and settlements in the Camp will see a travelling service go to them beginning with Bleaker Island on Tuesday. It is hoped everyone over the age of 50 will be vaccinated by Friday. Under 50s who work in qualifying occupations and those who have underlying health conditions will also be vaccinated.
The first age group receiving the jab will be the 80-89 year-olds. Anyone over the age of 90 will not go to the FIDF hall but will be contacted by the Community Support Team with details on the administration of their dose.
The Falkland Islands took delivery of 3,000 doses of the vaccine on Monday, February 1 as part of the UK Government’s commitment to supporting Overseas Territories during the pandemic. The delivery should allow around 1,900 people to get the first of two doses.
Dr Mandy Fry from the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital (KEMH) arranged the programme. She clarified if people leaving the Islands before their second dose would still get the jab: “It depends on whether someone will be eligible for their second dose where they are going to. For example, if a 70 year-old person turned up and were going back to England, it’s reasonable they would get the vaccine there so we would vaccinate them. If you are a young, fit, healthy person here and would be vaccinated by virtue of occupation, but you wouldn’t be eligible where you were going, we wouldn’t give you the first dose. We know partial immunity is worse and so we wouldn’t want to put people in that position.”
The Falkland Islands has had 45 positive Covid-19 cases since April 3, 2020 and zero deaths.