The British government has shipped 5,500 doses of coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine to Bermuda to help the overseas territory fight the dreaded disease.
Vaccines include doses of the Moderna Bivalent vaccine.
Moderna’s new vaccine contains two components of messenger RNA (mRNA) from the original SARS-CoV-2 strain and the omicron variant BA.4 and BA.5 lines.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has said the bivalent Moderna vaccine is cleared for use as a single booster dose in people 18 years of age and older.
Health Minister Kim Wilson and Governor Rena Lalgie thanked the British government for the vaccine donation, as Bermuda will be one of the few places in the Caribbean where people aged 18 and over can receive the Moderna vaccine Bivalent.
“I am delighted that the UK has been able to provide this 14th shipment of COVID vaccines to Bermuda to support the Government of Bermuda’s vaccination strategy efforts, at no cost to Bermuda,” Lalgie said. “The UK remains committed to helping facilitate access to the vaccines and medicines that Bermuda needs.”
Wilson said the delivery of the vaccine is timely since COVID-19 infection numbers are down, but the country is entering flu season.
“We are heading into the fall, which is cold and flu season. Vaccination remains the most important measure to fight the coronavirus,” she said.
Arrangements are being made to supply participating GP surgeries, pharmacies and paediatricians with the vaccines which will begin to be administered in the coming weeks.
Patients between the ages of 5 and 11 are eligible for a first or second injection only. The interval between doses should be at least 21 days.
Patients aged 12 and over are eligible for the first, second or third dose. The time between the first and second dose should be at least 21 days. The interval between the second dose and the third booster dose should be at least 5 months.
Residents 50 years of age or older and immunocompromised residents are eligible for a fourth dose or more of the COVID-19 vaccine provided their third or previous dose was at least 5 months old.