The Isle of Man’s Covid-19 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 Joint Committee on Vaccinations & Immunisations (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 - unless they have been invited by age already.
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.
Minister for Health and Social Care, 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.’
Alongside this, letters are in the process of being sent out to individuals aged between 40-49 and 30-39, marking the start of Phase Two of the vaccination programme. Manx residents in any of the age categories above 30 years or Phase One priority groups, should register for their vaccination through the online booking system or by calling 111 – even if they are yet to receive their letter. Appointments will be issued either via email or phone as soon as vaccine supplies allow.