The island’s vaccination programme will be prioritising jabs for people aged 16 and over who live with adults who have weakened immune systems, following guidance from the UK’s JCVI.
This includes conditions such as blood cancer, HIV and those on immunosuppressive treatment including chemotherapy.
Currently, individuals who have a weakened immune system and those on immunosuppressive treatment are receiving their vaccination through the priority four (clinically extremely vulnerable) or priority six (adults with underlying conditions making them susceptible to Covid) groups; however, the vaccinations haven’t been extended to those who live in the same household until now.
The new guidance is based on evidence that susceptibility to infection is reduced in those who have been vaccinated, and so vaccinating individuals aged 16+ living with an adult who is immunocompromised is considered to be a beneficial approach by increasing protection.
Health Minister David Ashford said: ‘It is important that we follow the JCVI guidelines on this to provide increased protection for Manx residents who are more vulnerable to catching Covid-19. I am asking anyone who fits this criteria to contact 111 and identify themselves as ‘living with’, even if they haven’t received a letter yet, in order to arrange their vaccination. The team at 111 will then arrange two appointments for these individuals under the Priority Six category to ensure they are prioritised in the booking schedule. Additionally, our GPs are working hard to ensure everyone in this group is identified and included.’