As part of this year’s Winter Vaccination Programme, the Government’s annual flu vaccination programme is due to start from Tuesday 12th October.
Islanders are being encouraged to get their flu vaccine as soon as they are offered it, as it is possible there will be higher levels of flu this winter, given the virus was low in circulation last year due to Covid-19 restrictions. A high uptake of the vaccine will improve the respiratory health of Islanders and will:
- help guard against the consequences of catching flu and Covid-19 at the same time
- reduce the pressure on the Health Service
- reduce the risk of asymptomatic people transmitting Covid-19.
The flu vaccine will be free for clinical risk groups which include:
- islanders aged 50 and over
- pregnant women
- households of those on the shielded patient list or of immunocompromised individuals
- home carers
- care home and domiciliary care staff
- HCS staff
- all children aged 2-4 years
- school aged children-Reception up to Year 11
- infants 6 months to 2 years of age in a clinical risk group
- islanders aged 16-50 in a clinical risk group.
Flu vaccines will be available at GP surgeries and pharmacies. Due to vaccine delivery and distribution dates, Islanders are encouraged to check vaccine availability at their GP surgery or pharmacy before attending on Tuesday.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has advised that is it safe for the flu and Covid-19 vaccines to be given at the same time. Islanders who are eligible for a Covid-19 booster vaccination will be offered the flu vaccine at their appointment at Fort Regent. The flu vaccination will be available at Fort Regent from Tuesday 12th October.
Islanders should not wait for the possibility of having both vaccines together but should get the flu vaccine when they receive the offer.
The schools flu programme continues to be rolled out, with all primary school aged children having now been offered the nasal vaccine. The nasal flu programme started in secondary schools this week. Parents or carers of secondary school aged children who would like their child to receive the nasal flu vaccine can complete the online consent form and return it to their child’s school secretary.
Covid-19 vaccination programme
Covid-19 booster vaccines are continuing in priority group order with appointments for Islanders over 60 beginning on Monday 11 October.
Covid-19 vaccine statistics as Sunday 3rd October:
- 77,796 Islanders have had a first dose
- 74,147 Islanders have had their second dose
- 5,337 booster doses have been administered, with 41% of those aged over 80 having received a third dose.
- 87% of the resident population aged 18 years and over have been administered a first dose, and 85% have been fully vaccinated.
In addition, the Covid vaccine for 12-15 year olds continues to be rolled out to young people in Jersey, with 540 doses of the vaccine being given during the first week of appointments opening.
Director of Public Health, Professor Peter Bradley, said: “I am pleased to announce the start of the winter flu vaccine programme and I encourage all eligible Islanders to attend for their flu vaccine as soon as they are able. Vaccinating against flu and Covid-19 remains the most effective way to control both viruses and keep our Island community safe as we approach the winter months.
“We are expecting a higher prevalence of flu this winter given the virus was in low circulation last season due to the restrictions that were in place. Vaccinating against flu is very important to ensure that the more vulnerable members of our population are protected.
“I’d like to reassure Islanders that getting the flu and Covid booster vaccinations together is safe and effective, so I’d encourage any eligible Islander attending for their booster vaccination at Fort Regent from Tuesday to take up the offer of the flu vaccine.
Minister for Health and Social Services, Deputy Richard Renouf, said: “Our Covid-19 vaccination programme has been hugely successful in protecting people against hospitalisation and serious illness. I am pleased that our booster programme is moving at pace to help protect Islanders through the winter.
“I hope those Islanders that are eligible for the annual flu vaccine will take up this offer from next week.”
Timetable for booster vaccinations in October:
- Monday 11 October – aged 60 and older
- Monday 18 October – aged 50 and older
- Monday 25 October – adult household contacts of immunosuppressed people or adult carers
Islanders who have not yet had their first COVID-19 vaccination can book an appointment here.