IoM Gov Briefing August 5

Howard, David, Dr H

Well good afternoon everyone.

Since we last spoke four members of our community have lost their lives

Decisions have never been easy or straightforward

It’s always a balancing act – lives, economy 

England, Ireland, Wales – They’ve all taken different paths 

There’s no single approach, just different perspectives

The global response has been about protecting lives. But we also need to protect our way of life

Vaccines reduce the likelihood of serious illness and deaths 

But it doesn’t mean double jabbed people won’t get sick or lose their lives 

Our vax team have administered almost 125K doses

We will have double jabbed every adult who’s come forward soon 

Booster jabs are in the works too 

We estimate that 91 deaths have been prevented along with 33,000 infections. 

Still concerned that 8,000 eligible islanders haven’t come forward to be jabbed. It’s a personal choice, but please think carefully.

Sharing info transparently with our community helps people make personal decisions. Rather than gov dictating 

We’ve seen a relatively large number of hospital admissions over a week or so, this comes from the peak of the wave ten days ago

As cases reduce, we will start to see hospital admissions reduce

Helpful to clarify that of the 16 admissions. Seven were admitted for another reason (info Gef asked for last week)

Ten are under 80 – Seven of these patients are not vaccinated

Get jabbed guys

Dr H

Vaccinations make a huge difference

  • 85% protection against symptomatic illness
  • 95% protection against hospitalisation and death
  • Impressive

Age and underlying conditions have an impact – An 80-year-old vaxxed reduces their risk but not to zero

Vaccination is the most important tool. Uptake has been excellent. But we still need people to come forward.

Pregnant women should get it too.

Planning the rollout of vaccines to 16+

Looking at vaccines for 12 – 15-year-olds who live with immunosuppressed 

Booster programme planning underway 


The response is constantly under review.

An example of this is face coverings. Now strongly advised in crowded places & enclosed spaces, but personal choice. 

You might want to wear one on a bus

We must continue to work together to prevent the spread of the virus. 



NHS App – ongoing contact 

12th August was a date for the launch, not gonna happen because of legal stuff on the UK side

When it’s approved, travellers will have a QR code that can be scanned

For now, you need to get a letter from Manx Care. It’s up to you to check in to ensure the country you’re going to will accept the letter 

We will be announcing shortly the rollout of vaccinating young people

Hospital Stats are being questioned. Can confirm that the case numbers are being updated. All patients in the hospital are being reported accurately. Not correct that the guy from Facebook isn’t in the stats, he is 

Care homes – There has been an extension of closure for Manx Care care homes (you can read the full statement here)


Sam: Had reports of staffing pressures at the hospital, testing taking ages, staff being redeployed from respite. Is the health service coping? And how will we cope with seasonal flu?

David: We are under pressure, staff are self-isolating. People on the front line are keeping the cogs turning. If we do have to take temporary measures, we will.

Sam: Will you jab 16+ in schools or in a central hub?

David: Hoping to start before September so we will use a hub system

Al Bell: Can we have some clarity on the death in the community?

Howard: Dunno

David: Too fresh. It’ll take a few days. 

Al Bell: Confusion about the numbers. People questioning the figures. People receiving long term treatment aren’t being included in the numbers?

David: No presumption of recovery in hospital. Figures are the figures. 

Ariane: Could gov respond to the request from EAG, the roadmap that highlights scientific advice behind policy, and at what point will you deem to see it acceptable to step in?

Howard: The number of cases on the island has reduced by about 55% over the last ten days. Figs that we get and the numbers for changes we need to take into account other data too.

Ariane: That plan will be made publicly available?

Howard: Yeah when it’s been formalised, we will add it to our website. It will be a general guide.

Paul: People think you’re hiding things. Why are you holding back? Don’t you understand how important clarity is?

David: Yeah but there’s something called the LAW Paul

Howard: Hang on Paul. We’re a tiny little island. Everyone knows each other. Patrick Vallance is talking about millions of people. We need to get permission before we can release info on unvaxxed and vaxxed.

Paul: You wanted to do it, but you’ve been stopped by medics?

Howard: Data protection regulations, been advised that people have been asked and agreed to share. Delighted that we can.

David: There’s not some secret smug bank of smug. The data rules apply to us too. 

Paul: You’re relying on patients telling you. Not very reliable in the long term if people don’t want to?

David: If people aren’t willing to share their information, we can’t force them, they have a right to privacy. 

Paul: Vax Data isn’t correct?

Howard: It is, but we might not state it in the future if we haven’t got permission from patients about whether they’re vaxxed or not.

Paul: Dr H, why aren’t you giving the info on your side? Are you still frustrated with COMEN not taking your advice?

DR H: I don’t know where you’ve got that idea that COMEN aren’t taking my advice?

Paul: Is COMEN taking your advice?

DR H: They take my evidence into account.

Paul: They have said that info has been withheld by the medical team, is that you or whatever? Do you think this info should be in the public domain?

DR H: That data is owned by Manx Care, legally they cannot transfer that information with Public Health unless it complies with data sharing agreements and GDPR

Dave: We could have kept four people alive? Is wealth more important than health?

Howard: Not the case. 

We have to learn to live with it. Got to learn to move forward, all deaths are regrettable. 

David: Sad occasion for the community. The issue is, we’ve got to be realistic. There will be serious illness and there will be deaths. Covid isn’t going anywhere. 

Howard: Dealing with mental health, divorces, housing shortages, businesses going under, hospital waiting lists. When is the right time? We have a significant number of people vaccinated now and it seems to be working. A tough decision had to be made. 

Dave: How confident are you that everyone testing positive on an LFT are going for a PCR?

Howard: PCR will give you a full and correct result. You need to know for yourself and for your family. And you need it to prove you can’t go to work. Capturing more people as a result of LFT.

David: LFTs we’re reliant on people coming forward. There is a small risk with LFT of a false positive. Come forward and get tested to stop 

2,342 – called 111 after testing positive with LFT of those 2,171 – Positive after PCR test

Dave: Can you understand that some people don’t want to wait on a busy 111 line, then isolate after etc

David: Best to get PCR 

Dr H: 92% of people who tested positive from LFT and then got PCR test confirmed positive, which means 8% were negative and didn’t have to isolate. Also, people can book their PCR tests online now so it’s much easier. 

Paul H: Current phase is Mitigation – What are your mitigation measures?

Howard: We have iso for travellers who aren’t 2+2, we have testing etc

David: We mirror the travel traffic light system, lots of testing going on, updated advice on mask-wearing etc

Paul H: Before borders opened in June, you said you were nervous about it. How do you feel now?

Howard: The numbers have loosely followed what our medic’s expected. Opening up was always going to be the hardest part. But we need to learn to live with it. I’ve been nervous since day one.


Thanks for joining us

Have a pleasant weekend

This coverage is not intended to be a verbatim transcript and should not be treated as such, you can listen to the full briefing here.

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