Details of the Covid booster and flu vaccination drive released by the Department of Health

The Department of Health has outlined the details of the covid booster and flu vaccination drive in the North.

Covid vaccinations have been ongoing since they first started earlier in the year with 2.5m vaccines had been administered in the north, including first and second doses, according to Robin Swann.

The Covid booster jab is now being rolled out for those aged 50 and over, as well as 16-49 year olds with underlying health conditions, adult carers and those in the same household as someone who is immunosuppressed.

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The boosters are being given first in care homes and to frontline health and social care workers, the same way the original vaccination programme was started. The booster is most effective six months after the second Covid vaccine dose.

The programme will be delivered mostly by GPs and pharmacies and some GPs may offer to give the Covid booster and flu vaccine at the same time.

A single dose covid vaccine is now being offered to young people aged 12-15, with parental consent, for the first time.

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The vaccine is optional and will be offered in schools throughout the city for the months of October and November.

Young people aged 16 and 17 can also get a single dose of the vaccine at the walk-in vaccination clinics and those over 18 can still get both doses of the vaccine in a pharmacy or a walk-in clinic.

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It has also been announced that the flu vaccination programme has started, with GPs playing a key role in the process.

The jab will be offered to a range of people, including those over the age of 50, pregnant people, school children and carers. More information is available on the NI Direct website.

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The full list of those eligible for the flu vaccine is detailed below:

• all preschool children aged 2 to 4 years on 1 September 2021

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• all primary and secondary (up to year 12) school children

• those aged 6 months to 2 years and 16 to 49 years in clinical risk groups

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• pregnant women

• those aged 50 years and over

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• those in long-stay residential care homes

• carers

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• close contacts of immunocompromised individuals

Frontline health and social care workers employed by:

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• Health and Social Care Trusts including NIAS

• community HSC providers including GP practices, pharmacies, dentist

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• registered independent sector residential care or nursing home

• registered domiciliary care providers

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• voluntary managed hospice provider