Covid jab to be available for 16 and 17-year-olds

Teenagers aged 16 and 17 are to be offered their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccination from tomorrow (Friday).

The step follows a recommendation from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) that first jabs be provided to all within this age group.

The recommendation will be implemented in Northern Ireland, with Health Minister Robin Swann confirming he welcomed the latest advice.

“I have asked my officials to ensure it is fully implemented in Northern Ireland as quickly as possible,” he said.

Health Minister Robin Swann receiving his vaccine at a community pharmacy in Ballymena. He is pictured at the Ballee Pharmacy with pharmacist Stephen Burns. Picture: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

“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.

“JCVI are an independent, expert committee who have thoroughly assessed a wide range of evidence.

“It is important that we continue to follow their advice.”

From tomorrow (Friday), NI’s regional vaccination centres will be providing walk-in Pfizer first jabs for 16 and 17 year olds.

For those in this age group who prefer to book, an online booking platform will be available soon.

The pop-up walk-in vaccination clinics being held across NI will also provide Pfizer first doses to anyone in this age group from Friday.

ID and proof of date of birth will be required when attending a regional vaccination centre or walk-in vaccination clinic for the jabs.

The regional vaccination centres are: SSE Arena and Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast; Seven Towers Leisure Centre, Ballymena; South Lake Leisure Centre, Craigavon; The Foyle Arena, Londonderry; Omagh Leisure Centre and Lakeland Forum, Enniskillen.

Details of the latest walk-in clinics are listed here: