26 March 2021

KEMH Covid-19 vaccination programme – 18 – 44-year olds

Following the arrival of a third batch of Covid-19 Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines yesterday, KEMH is pleased to confirm that it now has enough vaccine available to immunise all remaining adults between 18 and 44 years of age.

The intention is to continue running the Stanley Vaccination Centre at the FIDF Hall for the week beginning 29 March, to give as many people above the age of 18, who have not yet received the vaccine, their first dose during that week. For people living in Camp on East Falkland it would be extremely helpful if they could travel to Stanley for their vaccination – these people will not be required to attend a specific session, but will receive their vaccine whenever they arrive, provided that the vaccination centre is open.

Then, in the following week commencing 5 April, the travelling vaccination team will once again be visiting West Falkland and the Outer Islands. During this time, they will both be providing first doses for 18 – 44-year olds, as well as second doses for people living in those areas who received their first dose in the earlier stages of the vaccination programme. By organising the logistics in this way, it will make the round robin trip much more efficient.

Also, if you have previously declined to have the vaccination, but would like to reconsider, then you are encouraged to attend any of the Stanley Vaccination Centre sessions. If you would like to speak to a medical professional first, please contact the hospital on 28000 and you will receive a call back.

 

What should I expect on the day of my vaccination?

For those being vaccinated in Stanley, entry will be via the front doors into the FIDF Club.  Here, you will be asked to complete a consent form and confirm your information. You will then be taken into the FIDF Hall, where multiple vaccination stations will be set up. You will be vaccinated by one of the healthcare team, who has undergone appropriate training, and asked to wait for 15 minutes of observation afterwards. There will be marshals guiding you at each stage. You will be able to ask questions on the day, but please help us by looking at our vaccination FAQs first by visiting: https://fig.gov.fk/covid-19/vaccinations/vaccine-faq

What is the plan for residents in Camp?

A schedule will be shared for residents in Camp – whether receiving their first or second dose – which will cover both West Falkland and the Outer Islands. The travelling vaccination team will arrive via FIGAS near to the scheduled time and, to allow visits to be as efficient as possible, vaccinations on the Outer Islands will be administered at airstrips. 

What can I expect after I have my vaccination?

Some people have a sore arm and experience slight flu-like symptoms for 24 hours following the vaccine. If this is the case then you can take paracetamol. If you feel more unwell or are concerned then you can phone KEMH on 28000 for further advice. Evidence suggests that the second vaccine causes fewer side effects in most people than the first.

What happens if I cannot attend my vaccination as I am unwell or in quarantine?

If you are unwell at the time you are due for your vaccination, you are not expected to turn up; you can come at another time that works for you. If you are in quarantine or unwell all week then we will be arranging some catch up vaccination slots, in batches of 10, after the main vaccination sessions. Please contact KEMH reception on 28000 if this applies to you so that we can book an alternative date for your vaccination.

What happens if I am on the West or on an island, rather than in Stanley for my vaccine?

If you look at the timings below and realise you will be on the West or the Outer Islands then please get in touch on 28036 (or 28000 and leave your details). 

I had first dose later than everyone else – when will I receive my second dose?

If you were part of a group that had your dose later due to travel, quarantine, illness or other reasons, the hospital will contact you to confirm when your second dose will be.

What happens if I leave the Falklands before the second dose?

If you have had your first dose but find that you need to leave the Islands, please speak to KEMH to inform them of your travel plans, to agree the best solution for ensuring that you receive both doses of the vaccine – it may be that you receive your second dose in the UK.

What about the press stories about the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine and blood clots?

People may have seen recent media stories linking the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine to blood clots, with some countries temporarily suspending the use of the vaccine.

However, the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has said the evidence does not suggest that the jab causes clots. The World Health Organization (WHO) has also said there is no reason to stop using it, stating: “There is no evidence that the incidents are caused by the vaccine and it is important that vaccination campaigns continue so that we can save lives and stem severe disease from the virus.”

Throughout the pandemic, KEMH has kept in regular contact with national health bodies, including Public Health England, to ensure that we are using the most up-to-date evidence and information and this remains the case during the continuing rollout of the KEMH vaccination programme. The latest evidence and guidance demonstrate that the vaccine is safe, effective and will help prevent people from becoming seriously unwell with Covid-19.

 

Timings for FIDF Hall, Stanley – week beginning 29 March

KEMH is pleased to invite patients aged 18 – 44 to come along to the Stanley Vaccination Centre at the FIDF Hall for their first dose of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine. If you are able to attend during your designated session, this will help to manage the flow of patients throughout the week. The hospital would also be grateful if East Falklands residents could make their way into Stanley as this is an enormous help – if you travel from Camp into Stanley then you can attend any of the sessions as we will happily vaccinate you on arrival.

Monday 29 March

40 – 44-year olds who have not yet received a first dose                              9am – midday

35 – 39-year olds who have not yet received a first dose                              1pm – 4pm

Tuesday 30 March

30 – 34-year olds who have not yet received a first dose                              9am – midday

25 – 29-year olds who have not yet received a first dose                              1pm – 4pm

Wednesday 31 March

18 – 24-year olds who have not yet received a first dose                              9am – 12:30pm

Anyone who had their first dose between 8 – 16 February and have not yet had their second:      1pm – 4:30pm

Thursday 1 April

Anyone who had their first dose on 18 February and also anyone (from any age group) who was unable to attend their session earlier this week:           9am – 1:30pm

 

If you received your first dose after 18 February, KEMH will be in touch to arrange your second dose. Timings for first and second vaccine doses across West Falkland and the Outer Islands will be provided soon; please keep an eye on FIG communications channels.

The world has lost 2.7m people to Covid-19 and, while younger people are less likely to suffer a severe or fatal case of the virus, we are fortunate enough to have enough vaccine to immunise everyone over the age of 18. By getting vaccinated you are not only protecting yourself against Covid-19, but you are also taking care of your community.

As the pandemic continues, we are still being exposed to a huge amount of information on Covid-19 on a daily basis – particularly online – and not all of it is reliable. Headlines are very often sensational or provocative to get a high number of clicks, but this does not make them trustworthy. All research to date indicates the vaccines for Covid-19 are extremely safe and effective, they do not give you a disease, but instead teach your body’s immune system to recognise and fight the infection they have been designed to protect you against.

If you are concerned, please contact KEMH, and a medical professional will be pleased to help you, or visit our website: https://www.fig.gov.fk/covid-19/vaccinations/vaccine-faq