16 and 17 year olds in NI to be offered first dose of covid-19 vaccine

By Jonathan McCambridge, PA

Sixteen and 17-year-olds in Northern Ireland are to be offered a first dose of the Covid-19 vaccination from this week.

The step follows a recommendation from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) that first doses be provided to all 16 and 17-year-olds.

Health Minister Robin Swann confirmed the recommendation will be implemented in Northern Ireland.

From this Friday, regional vaccination centres will be providing walk-in Pfizer first jabs to this age group.

An online booking platform will also be available in the coming days.

The pop-up walk-in vaccination clinics being held across Northern Ireland will also provide Pfizer first doses to 16 and 17-year-olds from Friday.

ID and proof of date of birth will be required when attending a regional vaccination centre or walk-in vaccination clinic for the jabs.

Mr Swann said: “I welcome the latest advice from JCVI and have asked my officials to ensure it is fully implemented in Northern Ireland as quickly as possible.

“When formulating advice in relation to childhood immunisations, JCVI has consistently held that the main focus of its decision should be the benefit to children and young people themselves, weighed against any potential harms from vaccination to children and young people.

“JCVI are an independent, expert committee who have thoroughly assessed a wide range of evidence. It is important that we continue to follow their advice.”

The regional vaccination centres are the SSE Arena in Belfast, the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast, the Seven Towers Leisure Centre in Ballymena, the South Lake Leisure Centre in Craigavon, the Foyle Arena in Londonderry, Omagh Leisure Centre and the Lakeland Forum in Enniskillen.

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