NI Covid-19 vaccination programme extended for teens

The Covid-19 vaccination programme in Northern Ireland is to be extended to 16 and 17 yr olds.

From this Friday, youngsters on this group will have the ability to avail of their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine at seven regional walk-in vaccination centres.

They may also have the ability to get the jab at pop-up vaccination clinics in Northern Ireland from that day.

It follows a advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation that Covid-19 vaccine first doses be supplied to all 16 and 17-year-olds.

An on-line reserving platform may also be out there within the coming days.

Northern Ireland's Health Minister Robin Swann welcomed the most recent recommendation from the JCVI and requested that it’s carried out as rapidly as doable.

"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", he mentioned.

Mr Swann mentioned that the JCVI have "thoroughly assessed a wide range of evidence" and that it’s "important that we continue to follow their advice".

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

Professor Wei Shen Lim, the Covid-19 chair of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, mentioned in an announcement: "After fastidiously contemplating the most recent information, we advise that wholesome 16 to 17-year-olds are provided a primary dose of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

"Advice on when to supply the second vaccine dose will come later.

"While Covid-19 is typically mild or asymptomatic in most young people, it can be very unpleasant for some and for this particular age group, we expect one dose of the vaccine to provide good protection against severe illness and hospitalisation."

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