PSA: All over-18s in Northern Ireland can now get the coronavirus vaccine
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The Northern Ireland Department of Health has this morning announced that the coronavirus vaccine will now be available for all adults aged over 18, becoming the first part of the UK to do so.
The move comes following a successful vaccine roll out across the wider UK. To date, 70 per cent of adults in Northern Ireland have received a first dose of the vaccine, whilst a reported 40 per cent have received both and are fully vaccinated.
This announcement means that most students at universities and colleges across Northern Ireland will now be eligible for the vaccine, if they have not already received it.
Health Minister, Robin Swann MLA has said that limited slots will be available upon booking for young adults in response to additional public health guidance surrounding the uptake of the Pfizer vaccine. With this increased demand, 20,000 slots will be available every week which will be released every Thursday morning.
Upon booking the vaccine, younger people who have been advised to take the Pfizer vaccination are presented with a risk assessment of potential blood clots which have been reported in very minimal cases with the Oxford AstraZeneca jab.
Welcoming the roll out, Minister Swann said: “The tremendous success of the vaccination programme has brought great hope and has helped to enable the recent further easing of restrictions.”
Minister Swann further praised the work of the NHS and his team here in Northern Ireland, saying: “The expansion of the vaccination programme, well ahead of schedule, to everyone aged 18 and over is testament to the hard work and dedication of all those involved in delivering the vaccine throughout Northern Ireland.”
Adding to this, Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr Michael McBride said: “I know that many young people will be very keen to book their jab now that they’re eligible for vaccination.”
With guidance on the Pfizer vaccine, young people are expected to largely participate in the vaccine rollout, with research conducted by The Tab reporting 94 per cent of young people willing to take the vaccine when offered.
Whilst Northern Ireland has become the first part of the UK to fully offer the vaccine to consenting adults, parts of Scotland and Wales have released a pre-registration service for over-18s who will receive a text when they are eligible for their shots.
The past seven days have seen momentous strides in the battle against coronavirus in Northern Ireland. With 18-30 year olds being offered the vaccine and the lifting of many restrictions following agreements made by the Northern Ireland Executive, people can now dine inside, visit cinemas and gyms and enjoy many other activities which were not possible during previous waves.
There are a number of centres across Northern Ireland which will be providing the coronavirus vaccine. Appointments for these centres can be booked here or by phoning 0300 200 7813