Guernsey's Director of Public Health has warned against complacency in the fight against Covid-19. Dr Brink says the vaccination rollout is progressing well but says the new lockdown in the Isle of Man shows how quickly things can change.
ITV Channel's Hamish Auskerry spoke to Dr Brink about where the island stands at the start of a new year...
Dr Brink, can you give people a sense of hope for 2021 about when we can expect to look beyond the pandemic?
So I think with the availability of the Covid-19 vaccine it really gives us hope that we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. So, in the Bailiwick of Guernsey, and indeed elsewhere across the world we've started rolling out a vaccination programme, and I think that brings us real hope, but whilst we're rolling out the vaccination campaign we can't be complacent. And for us, of course, what's also important are the restrictions on our borders, so stopping infection coming into the island is really important for us.
Can you update us that on that vaccination programme about where you've got up to and where you're hoping to get to by springtime?
We have mapped out until the end of March, where we have our expected delivery schedule. And with that we're hoping to deliver in the region of 40,000 doses of vaccine during that period of time. Now this is the largest vaccination programme that has ever been rolled out in the Bailiwick of Guernsey. After March, we hope to continue working down the priority groups, but we need to get further confirmation what our delivery schedule will be after March.
Do you think people would be wise to hope for a summer holiday this year away from the Bailiwick, or are they setting themselves up for disappointment?
What I think we should do is monitor what happens over the next two three months. And I think come February and March, we'll be in a much better position to make that judgement.
How was it for you when you look back on last year, how big a change was it for you and how did you cope with it all?
Well, it was a huge change for me for sure. I've never been in the public eye as much as I have been over the last year. But I think linked to that, it's been incredibly humbling, how supportive the people of the Bailiwick have been. And that's been so reassuring and so encouraging particularly when we're working long hours, particularly in the height of the first wave. In February, March, April time, and particularly when we saw our first deaths.
I think it's been really encouraging, how all islanders in Guernsey, Alderney, Sark and Herm have supported me, and supported us in public health, through this whole process. I can honestly say we couldn't have got through it without the normal support that we've had from islanders.