The Director of Public Health, Dr Helen Carter, has told PANORAMA that they are preparing, like many other countries across Europe for it to be a challenging winter. This, she said, is due to having not seen the same amount of mixing we will see this year as opposed to the last two winters due to the pandemic, so they are expecting to see an increase in Covid cases, alongside other winter viruses over the next few months.
Dr Carter has been at the forefront of various health campaigns recently, such as the polio and flu vaccines, and more recently Covid-19 booster campaign. PANORAMA spoke with her regarding these campaigns.
Following the detection of larger than normal amounts of Polio virus in the sewage of some parts of London, Dr Carter advised a precautionary approach should be taken, thus, a polio booster vaccine was offered to children aged over 1 to under 10 years old.
As from September 15th, a walk in clinic was set up at the Children’s PCC every Thursday. Dr Carter confirmed to PANORAMA that they have currently vaccinated 144 children with the booster.
When asked if the polio vaccine will be rolled out further if needs be, such as to older children, she replied: “Not at this stage. I am keeping it under review though, in terms of informing that public health risk assessment.”
Dr Carter stated they do have a procedure in place if polio is found in Gibraltar. “Firstly, all our clinical staff have been briefed to know where to think about it in their differential diagnosis if someone starts presenting with symptoms that could be polio. Unfortunately there isn’t a specific treatment for polio, it would very much be supportive care.”