Fewer people in the Isle of Man are believed to have received the Covid-19 autumn vaccine booster than England, according to latest government figures.
The public health department has started publishing a weekly report of the number of cases of Covid, influenza and other respiratory viruses.
The latest report on seasonal respiratory illnesses shows that the percentage of people in the island eligible for the autumn Covid booster and who’d received their jabs was 12.1% lower than in England.
The government report shows that the uptake of the Covid-19 vaccine in England was 43.1% by October 23, 2022.
The same report uses census data to say: ‘The Isle of Man rate would be 31%.’
This is based on census data however, the report also notes that ‘local cohort numbers based on letter invites are still pending’.
The flu jab figures for the end of October show that ‘compared to England, the Isle of Man currently has lower influenza vaccine rates for those who are over 65 years of age and two- and three-year-olds’.
Over 65s have 43.7% flu vaccine uptake, but England has 59%.
In the Isle of Man two- and three-year-olds have a vaccine uptake percentage of 9.8%, whereas the England figures are 16% and 17.1% respectively.
However, the Isle of Man surpasses England with 50- to 64-year-olds, who are not in a clinical risk group category, with the Isle of Man having a 18.5% vaccinated rate, but England having a 15.2% vaccinated rate.
The report also states: ‘The under 50 and vulnerable category is not comparable due to different groupings.’
In the report, the government says: ‘Immunity derived from vaccination declines over time.
‘The objective for the Autumn 2022 booster programme is to enhance immunity in those at higher risk from Covid-19 and hereby optimise protection against severe Covid-19, specifically hospitalisation and death, over winter 2022 to 2023.’
In the latest round of invites to Covid-19 and influenza vaccines, over 50s were called up along with pregnant women, those at higher risk due to a health condition, Immunosuppressed and those in their households, a frontline health and social care worker and carers.
The government is publishing these figures on a weekly basis and it hopes that the report will ‘evolve’ over the coming weeks and paint a clearer picture of the issue of seasonal respiratory illness in the island.