Muscat Plea To Get Boosters Before Omicron Hits

Jersey's Deputy Medical Officer of Health has urged people aged 30 and over to book their Covid-19 booster vaccine before the island sees the effects of the Omicron variant.

Everyone over the age of 18 in England has been offered a booster dose before the end of the year, because of concerns over the rapid spread of the new strain.

Dr. Ivan Muscat says the situation in Jersey is under constant review and they're looking at ways of making sure islanders get maximum protection from vaccination.

He adds that getting a booster is absolutely vital in protecting against a new wave of illness and hospitalisations, and making sure we are better able to preserve our current way of life.

"It must be emphasised that if you are eligible for a booster, you must have this to be protected against Omicron – the current estimates are that the booster increases vaccine efficacy against infection due to Omicron to 70-75% early on.

The current estimates also find that a full two-dose vaccination course alone is less effective against symptomatic disease with Omicron than with the original strain of COVID-19 or the Delta variant. The rate of waning is unknown at the moment. Protection by the booster against severe disease is likely to be higher but this has yet to be confirmed.

While Islanders over the age of 40 who are unvaccinated or not boosted are at highest risk of hospitalisation, Islanders under 40 who are unvaccinated or not boosted are still very much at risk of illness, spreading the virus in the community, and suffering from complications of Long COVID.

If you are aged 30 years or over, you can book your COVID-19 booster NOW."

1,116 are currently known to have Covid-19 in Jersey.

18 people with the virus are being treated in hospital.

More than 4,700 people are known to have the Omicron variant of coronavirus in the UK.

At least one person with the new variant has died in Britain, with ten patients known to be in hospital with it in England.

The U-K-H-S-A says they're aged between 18 and 85, and the majority were double-vaccinated.

Today marks one year exactly since the first Covid-19 vaccine was administered in Jersey.

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