Over 50s eligible for second COVID-19 booster this autumn

Health Minister Robin Swann has confirmed everyone over the age of 50 will be eligible for a COVID-19 booster vaccination in the autumn.
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People aged 5 to 49 years who are in clinical risk group, including pregnant women, or people in the same age band who who are household contacts of people with immunosuppression can also avail of a second jab.

Those aged 16 to 49 years who are carers are also eligible, as are frontline health and social care workers and residents and staff at are homes.

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Mr. Swann announced the forthcoming roll-out after the British Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) published its recommendations on the COVID-19 vaccination programme for autumn 2022.

Health Minister Robin Swann has outlined the criteria for booster vaccines.Health Minister Robin Swann has outlined the criteria for booster vaccines.
Health Minister Robin Swann has outlined the criteria for booster vaccines.

He said: “We can now step up our planning to deliver our autumn booster programme in Northern Ireland, based on this JCVI guidance.

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“Vaccination provides vital protection against COVID-19, and has been particularly effective at reducing the risk of serious illness, hospitalisation and death.

“When we think back to where we were in 2020 before vaccines became available, we are reminded just how much we owe to all those who made our vaccine programme possible.

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“Our vaccination programme in Northern Ireland has involved a huge collective effort right across health and social care."

The minister said the roll-out will require careful planning.

“The JCVI advice for this autumn means boosters will be available to a large section of our population, who JCVI believe would benefit most from receiving a booster dose. Delivering this programme will be a major logistical operation for our health service but I am very confident we will rise to the challenge once again, despite all the pressures our service continues to face.

“Vaccination is our chief defence against COVID-19 and I would again urge everyone who is eligible for a booster as part of our autumn programme to come forward as soon as it becomes available," he stated.

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