16 February 2021

Update on Covid-19 swabbing and vaccinations in the Falkland Islands

As of today, Tuesday 16 February, the latest Covid-19 swabbing results are as follows:

  • Total number of swab tests taken and processed to date: 6,977
  • Total number of swabs taken but not yet tested: 0
  • Total number of positive test results since 3 April 2020: 54
  • Number of current positive test results within the Islands: 11

The KEMH vaccination programme began on 8 February and, to date has vaccinated 1,515 people. In the first phase, those offered the vaccine were people over 50, those with significant underlying conditions and individuals working in an ‘at risk’ occupation.

Further to this, the hospital team has been able to administer vaccines to a second phase of people who have been identified as one or more of the following: being involved in critical activities to keep the Islands running; potentially having direct contact with people who may be Covid-19 positive, or who have specialist skills that only a limited number of people hold. As of 16 February, KEMH has also been able to invite people aged 45 to 49 for vaccination, and the latest figures show that the overall uptake for the vaccination programme is 99.3%.

The Falkland Islands received a first batch of 3,000 doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine via the South Atlantic Airbridge on 1 February and, at the same time, took delivery of a number of dose sparing syringes. These needles, together with intricate planning by the hospital, has meant KEMH has been able to vaccinate more people than initially estimated, each with the full 0.5ml dose.

Chief Medical Officer, Dr Beccy Edwards, said: “Vaccine wastage is not unusual and is a calculation that we routinely factor into our planning assumptions. However, due to the seriousness of Covid-19 it is vital that we use every tool at our disposal to make the most of the vaccines we have been given. I am very proud of the team for having worked so hard to maximise the available doses, which has meant we have been able to offer vaccinations to more people, while still safeguarding second doses for people from the initial batch.”

The next weekly swabbing update will be on Tuesday 23 February.