Covid vaccine boosters – key points

Date published: 02 November 2021

Covid-19 vaccine boosters are being offered to:

•    those living in care homes
•    all adults aged 50 years or over
•    frontline health and social care workers
•    all those aged 16 to 49 years with underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk of severe COVID-19, and adult carers 
•    adult household contacts of immunosuppressed individuals

This is in line with advice to the health service from the JCVI (Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation).

You must have completed your first and second doses of COVID-19 vaccinations at least 6 months before getting the booster vaccination.

Boosters are free, regardless of who is providing them.

Health Trusts are providing boosters to care home residents and care home staff, and to eligible Trust staff.

GPs and local pharmacies are taking the lead in providing boosters to the general public.

GPs are contacting their eligible patients and inviting them to attend booster jab clinics. This will be a rolling programme of clinics for the over 50s and patients ‘at risk’ under the age of 50.

If you are 50 or over, you can also contact a local community pharmacy to book an appointment for your booster. Pharmacies will also be providing booster doses for carers as well as for independent sector frontline health and social care workers. Some pharmacies will also be providing walk-in opportunities.

This means those in the 50 plus age group have a choice – get invited in by your GP for your booster or get it through a participating community pharmacy.

The list of all the pharmacies across Northern Ireland who will be offering the booster jab is available on the Health and Social Care Board website

The Pfizer and Moderna Covid-19 vaccines are being used for booster doses. Both are mRNA vaccines and both have been approved as safe and effective vaccines, providing vital protection against the virus.


Notes to editors: 

  1. The Health Minister stated yesterday that a significant acceleration of booster jabs is expected in the coming days and weeks. The press release is available on the Department website
  2. For media enquiries please contact the DoH Press Office by email
  3. Follow us on Twitter @healthdpt
  4. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service For Media Enquiries Only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be   contacted on 028 9037 8110.

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