The Autumn Covid-19 booster will begin in the island next week.

The programme, which has been brought forward after the identification of a new variant, will start with vaccinations for older adult care home residents and those who are most at risk.

A Manx Care spokesperson said: 'Aligning with the rest of the UK, the autumn vaccine programme for the island has been brought forward as a precautionary measure after the identification of Covid-19 variant BA.2.86, which was first detected in the UK on Friday, August 18.

'The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) have advised that bringing the autumn programme forward will offer greater protection to those who are at higher risk of serious disease.'

Where possible, both Covid-19 and seasonal flu vaccines will be administered at the same time to offer maximum protection over the winter months.

The following groups will be offered Covid-19 and seasonal flu vaccines:

  • those aged 65 years and older
  • residents in a care home for older adults
  • frontline health and social care workers
  • those aged five years and over in a clinical risk group (Immunisation Green Book)
  • household contacts of people with a suppressed immune system
  • carers aged 16 and older as defined by the Immunisation Green Book
  • where possible, adults over 18 will also be offered a seasonal flu vaccine at their appointment

Manx Care will contact people with an appointment if their health record suggests they may be eligible.

Eligible people can also book online via the booking system or email [email protected].

Frontline health and social care workers will be asked to book their own appointments for any available session using the online booking system.

Walk-in sessions will be advertised when the schedule has been confirmed.

Marina Hudson, interim executive medical director for Manx Care, said: 'Covid-19 and flu can both be potentially serious and even life-threatening for some people.

'Older people and those with a health condition are at greater risk in the winter months as viruses spread more easily when we spend more time indoors.

'That’s why it is important to come forward for your vaccination when it is offered to you this autumn and also take steps to stop the spread of illness including washing your hands regularly, letting fresh air in and staying at home if you are unwell.'