There is some limited availability for those aged 30 to 34 to book a coronavirus vaccine in Northern Ireland it has been announced.
On April 30, the Department of Health said that an “early opportunity” had arisen for some people in the age group to get vaccinated.
Where are the vaccinations available?
The Department of Health said appointments for people in this age group were mostly available at the vaccine centre at the SSE Arena in Belfast
How can I book?
Bookings have been available since 10am on April 30, and can be made online at https://covid-19.hscni.net/get-vaccinated or, if this method is not possible, by phoning 0300 200 7813.
People making bookings are being asked to be patient, as demand for appointments is expected be strong. “The ongoing roll-out of the vaccination programme will continue to be dependent on the availability of vaccine supplies”, says the Department of Health.
How is Northern Ireland’s rollout going?
According to the Northern Ireland vaccination dashboard, 1.3 million people in Northern Ireland have received at least one dose of the vaccine, with around 413,000 people fully vaccinated.
Northern Ireland is the first of the four UK nations to offer the vaccine to such a young age group, with people over 40 beginning to be offered the vaccine in England from today (April 30).
Health Minister Robin Swann said: “It is worth remembering the progress that our vaccination programme has made in a relatively short period of time. In less than five months we have vaccinated almost one million people and thousands of our citizens have been able to receive the vaccine well ahead of schedule.
“I know that we all long for a sustainable return to more normal times and vaccination offers the best hope for this. Uptake is very encouraging and I’m pleased that we are moving so quickly through the cohorts. We have a limited number of slots that we can now offer to those aged 30 to 34, so if you’re eligible I would urge you to step forward and take the opportunity to get the jab.”
How is rollout going in the rest of the UK?
The UK has a target of offering a first dose to the entire adult population by the end of July, and there are some indications that the rollout may be going faster than anticipated.
41 and 42-year-olds in England are being invited for vaccination from today, with indications that the over-30s might be invited for their jab as soon as mid-May, in a couple of weeks’ time.
Wales is offering the jab to over-40s and, in some areas, even younger people. In Scotland, 45 to 49-year-olds are currently being invited.
The NHS is vaccinating the population with Pfizer-BioNTech, Oxford-AstraZeneca and Moderna, with the government recently ordering an extra 60 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine as part of its plans for a vaccination booster programme in the autumn.
The health service is currently advising that it is preferable for those under 30 to have a vaccine other than the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab due to some evidence of a link to blood clots.