Covid vaccine rollout opens for 25 to 29 year-olds in Northern Ireland

Health Minister Robin Swann has urged people who are eligible to book in for the Covid jab when called

Young people aged between 25 and 29 can now book an appointment for their Covid vaccination in Northern Ireland

The latest expansion comes just days after the region reached the one million mark for first doses, with all those who are eligible urged to come forward for their jab when invited.

The speedy rollout comes ahead of further lockdown changes in Northern Ireland next week, which will see more sectors of the economy allowed to reopen from 24 May.

People aged 25 to 29 can now book their Covid vaccination (Photo: Getty Images)

‘Book an appointment’

From Thursday (20 May), anyone born between 1 May 1991 and 31 July 1996 can book a vaccine appointment at one of the Trust vaccination centres across Northern Ireland.

In line with the latest advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), those under the age of 40 can book a Pfizer vaccine, or can make what the Department of Health described as an “informed decision” to receive the AstraZeneca jab at the SSE Arena in Belfast, or participating community pharmacies.

As vaccine supplies are limited, the department said the on-going rollout of the vaccination programme will continue to depend on availability, with approximately 20,000 slots available each week.

Health Minister Robin Swann has urged all those eligible to book in for their jab when called, and stressed the importance of being protected as more restrictions are relaxed.

He said: “Vaccination is vital in helping us move through this pandemic and there is no doubt that there are people in Northern Ireland alive today because they have been vaccinated.

“Next week we will see further easing of restrictions with the re-opening of licensed and unlicensed premises indoors, the remainder of tourist accommodation and the further relaxation to the rules over visiting indoors.

“This has been made possible because of the success of the vaccination programme and the majority of people acting on the public health advice.

“I appeal to everyone who is eligible for the vaccine to book an appointment.

“I know there are some younger people that think they don’t need the vaccine but we have seen what this virus can do and with variants now in the mix we all need to protect ourselves and those around us.”

Chief Medical Officer, Dr Michael McBride, added: “While the risk of severe disease is lower in younger people, some may get very sick.

“There is much we still have to learn about this virus and post Covid syndrome or ‘long Covid’, which can be very debilitating for some.

“In making the decision to get the vaccine you are protecting not only yourself, but also those that matter to you. Every vaccine really does bring us closer together.”

How to book

Vaccine appointments can be booked online or calling the booking number 0300 200 7813.

Details of participating pharmacies is also available online, including information on how to book.

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