Georgetown Hospital has confirmed that as of 25 March, Ascension’s COVID-19 vaccination campaign has so far seen 801 doses of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine administered to eligible members of the public. This comprises 798 first doses, representing an approximate 98% uptake by eligible adults and an initial 3 second doses.
The vaccination campaign began on 17 February with frontline healthcare workers and emergency response staff being the first to receive vaccines. Once those at high-risk of developing a severe illness as a result of contracting COVID-19 had then been offered the vaccine, the vaccine was made available to the general public.
With the majority of those offered the vaccine having now received their first dose, Georgetown Hospital is preparing to commence administering the second dose of vaccines in the coming weeks. Members of the public will be allocated an appointment to receive their second dose of the Oxford AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine no more than 12 weeks from their first dose.
The vaccine is not currently approved for use by those aged less than 18 years old, and although further work is ongoing to assess the effectiveness of vaccines on this group, they will not be offered the vaccine at this time.
Vaccination has been shown to significantly reduce the severity of COVID-19 symptoms, meaning those who have been vaccinated are then less likely to develop a severe illness as a result of being exposed to the virus. Vaccination therefore not only benefits the individual but will also reduce the pressure on the island’s health service were an outbreak of COVID-19 to be observed in Ascension as those who have been vaccinated are far less likely to require hospital treatment.