New initiatives being finalised to further increase booster vaccine take-up
The vaccination dashboard records that 152,789 boosters have now been administered in NI, with a further 12,703 third doses also provided.
“I am pleased to see the numbers climbing,” Health Minister Robin Swann stated. “I have been assured that to date more than half a million vaccine doses have now been ordered for the booster dose, with most of it already delivered.
“These vaccines have a short shelf life so we can expect to see the numbers growing rapidly on the dashboard in the coming weeks.
“The booster programme for eligible sections of the general public is being led by GPs and pharmacies, with health trusts vaccinating their staff with boosters as well as care home staff and residents. Community pharmacies are also delivering boosters for frontline staff not employed by Trusts.
“While the welcome increase in booster numbers reflects very hard work by a health system under severe pressure, I want to see the total climb further and faster.
“I have tasked officials with developing further initiatives to complement the current work. I am pleased to report that these are being finalised and should include a programme of walk-in and pop-up clinics - for booster doses, as well as vaccination opportunities for 12-17-year-olds, and for first and second doses generally. Further details of these initiatives will be made public shortly.”
The Head of NI’s vaccination programme has urged people to come forward for their booster when their turn comes.
Speaking after receiving her own booster jab of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at Cooper’s Pharmacy in Belfast, Patricia Donnelly, said:
“We are continuing to see high COVID infection rates so the booster programme is very important. Boosting the immune response after people have received their initial double vaccination course helps to sustain protection against Covid-19. Many people may receive a different vaccine from their 1st two doses and people can be reassured that this is both appropriate and safe.
“Thanks to GP, pharmacy and Trust teams who have now administered over 150,000 boosters since the roll out began a few weeks ago.”
Those who are eligible for a booster at least six months on from their second dose include:
- 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
- adult carers (including foster carers)
- adult household contacts of immunosuppressed individuals
More information is available on NI Direct: www.nidirect.gov.uk/covidvaccine
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