A-LEVEL and college students will now have priority access to the Pfizer vaccines that arrived in Gibraltar on the weekend.

The government announced any over-60s who have still not got their first shot of the COVID-19 vaccine will also be in line to take it.

People in their 50s will be getting their jabs this week too, along with shop assistants and other frontline workers.

The news comes as another pandemic casualty was added to the list of deaths, which after two others at the weekend has now risen to 78.

The 75 to 80-year-old woman who died today was a victim of COVID-19 pneumonia and severe frailty.

Last weekend a nonagenarian died of COVID-19 pneumonia and a man in his 70s died of multiple organ failure as a result of the coronavirus.

The deaths were called ‘extremely sad’ by Chief Minister Fabian Picardo, who passed on his condolences to the victims’ families.

“This terrible news on the same day as Gibraltar moves to a new stage of reduced restrictions should serve as a profound reminder to take the greatest of care,” he said.

“The total number of persons we have now lost to COVID-19 in January alone is a heart breaking 71.

“This alone should help everyone to realise that we are still in the middle of a dangerous pandemic and people must follow the rules.”

Jabbing away

The Department of Education will now be sorting out the jabbing appointments for students from 16 to 18-years-old on the second week of February.

An information leaflet is being distributed to handle parental concerns, highlighting their danger as spreaders of the virus.

This point was highlighted by Minister for Education John Cortes.

“Young people typically do not become very unwell with COVID-19, but there is evidence that they can inadvertently spread the disease to others,” said Cortes.

“Vaccinating 16-18 year olds who are at school or college will help protect young people, their teachers and their families.”

The government is urging anyone over 60-years-old who has not done so yet to register for a jab online or by calling 20066966.

Minister for Health Samantha Sacramento said: “I am extremely pleased at how quickly and effectively the vaccine programme against COVID-19 is being rolled out.”

“I am certain that those who have received a vaccine so far share in my immense gratitude to the many teams of dedicated staff whose hard work has made this possible.

“We are now in the position where we have offered the vaccine to almost everyone over the age of 60.

“If you have not yet been offered an appointment, please let us know by contacting the GHA.”

On a positive note, active cases have now dropped off to just 264, 18 in government nursing homes.

The number of COVID-19 positive patients in Critical Care, however, went up to 11, with 25 others in hospital wards.

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