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All 16-17 year olds to receive second COVID vaccine

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All 16 -17 year olds on the Island will now be offered a second dose following the latest advice from the UK’s Joint Commission on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).

The JCVI has reviewed the latest evidence on the benefits and risks of vaccination, concluding that the balance supports offering all young people aged 16 and 17 who are not in an at-risk group, a second dose of the Pfizer vaccine at least 12 weeks after their first dose.

As protection from the first dose will eventually start to decline, a second dose of vaccine will increase young people’s protection against the virus, and reduce the risk of serious COVID-19 and needing hospital treatment. A second dose will also help to reduce the risk of transmitting the virus to vulnerable close contacts.

Lawrie Hooper MHK, Minister for Health and Social Care commented:

‘COVID cases have been circulating among older teens over the last few months. By offering a second dose to this age group, we will be increasing their protection against the virus. I encourage everyone to come forward for their vaccine when invited.’

Anyone in this age group who has contracted COVID-19 after having their first vaccine will only be allowed their second dose 12 weeks after the positive test or onset of symptoms.

The vaccination team are currently planning the rollout of second doses to young people and will be in touch shortly.