This Sunday will see the closure of the vaccination hub based at Ronaldsway Airport, nearly six months after it first opened.
With the Island moving to living in a world with COVID-19 and the next step of easing the borders earlier this week, the airport is already starting to see an increase in passengers so plans are in place to return the airport to its primary function.
The opening of the bespoke airport hub back in January ensured patients were vaccinated swiftly, safely and efficiently and to date over 30,000 vaccines have been administered including 16,700 first doses and 13,966 second doses. More than 50 health and care staff from porters, to community nurses to volunteers have been involved in the daily running of the airport hub.
David Ashford MHK, Minister for Health and Social Care said:
"With the vaccination programme continuing at pace and over 60% of the adult population having received their second dose, we are at a point in the current programme where the remaining appointments can be completed at Chester Street. It will remain possible to continue as a smaller hub in the future if ever required.
He added: ‘I want to extend a huge thank you to everyone involved in the airport hub, from DOI who created the hub, the booking and admin teams, the vaccinators as well as the volunteers who directed people to the hub in the early days. Our vaccination programme has been a huge success so far, with the airport hub playing a big part in this. I also want to thank the team at the Airport for providing us with this space and am sure they are ready to see the airport back to its full use.’
The building of the airport vaccination centre involved massive efforts from a dedicated project team of workers from Government departments, airport management and Health and Safety teams in just over three weeks across the Christmas period, ensuring we were ready to get the rollout going in the New Year.
As we are nearing the end of the current stage of the vaccination programme, residents who have not yet registered for the vaccine are reminded that they can still register for a vaccine by calling 111 or online at covid19.gov.im/vaccine. Individuals who have registered but not yet had an appointment or may have cancelled any appointments and are waiting for them to be rescheduled are asked to please contact 111 immediately so the team can ensure all booking slots are filled and no vaccine is being wasted.
Those who have second doses are also encouraged to attend their appointment as having both doses will ensure long term protection against the virus, with Public Health England studies showing that two doses of the approved vaccines are highly effective against hospitalisation from the Delta variant.