Residents of Southlands care home in Port Erin will be the first people on the Isle of Man to receive the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine tomorrow as the rollout moves into care homes.

Unlike the Pfizer jab which has so far only been administered for three days a week, the DHSC intends to be putting the Oxford vaccine into arms five days a week.

The majority of residents have indicated they wish to have the jab and their informed consent will be confirmed by the healthcare admin team on the day of their vaccination.

After Southlands, the team will be touring the island to visit several care homes a day, and by the end of the week the gov expects that over 200 residents will have received their first vaccination. The vaccine rollout to health and care staff and the over 80s will also continue at ward 20 at Noble’s Hospital site. So far, more than 2,000 frontline staff from the public and private sectors across the island have received the Pfizer vaccine.

Minister David Ashford said: ‘This vaccine is much easier to handle, store and administer, and the vaccine will be going into arms around the island, five days a week. We now have hub and community rollout operating in tandem, using different vaccines and parallel teams, and we aim to have reached the top priority groups by mid to end of March, supplies of vaccine to the island allowing.
We are rapidly gaining experience and I’m delighted at how smoothly the operation is running. I thank everyone involved for their input, commitment and many extra hours worked to ensure the vaccine is getting to the most vulnerable groups in our community.’

A vaccinator team made up of nurses, health visitors and pharmacists will handle the care home rollout. Other registered health professionals will join the rollout programme as it continues to expand in the weeks ahead. Next to be offered a vaccination will be residents of the island’s nursing homes, who are due to be visited in the week commencing 25 January. Across the residential and nursing home sector 1,000 individuals will be vaccinated over the coming weeks.

The vaccination hub is now almost ready at Ronaldsway and work has just begun at the former Shoprite premises in Chester Street. The airport hub is scheduled to go live at the end of January, with the Douglas centre due to open by mid-February.