Covid-19: who is to be offered the autumn booster jab in Northern Ireland?

Everyone aged over 50 in Northern Ireland is to be offered a Covid-19 booster this autumn.

Younger ‘at risk’ people and frontline health and social care workers are among the other groups to be included in the vaccination programme.

The announcement comes following the latest recommendation from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).

Health Minister Robin Swann welcomed the JCVI guidance and said planning could now begin for the Northern Ireland autumn booster programme.

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

“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.

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

Who will be eligible for the autumn booster?

Plans are being made for an autumn Covid booster programme in Northern Ireland.

Under the advice from JCVI, those eligible for a further dose will be:

* Residents in a care home for older adults and staff working in care homes for older adults

* Frontline health and social care workers

* All adults aged 50 and over

* Those aged 5 to 49 years in a clinical risk group, including pregnant women

* Those aged 5 to 49 years who are household contacts of people with immunosuppression

* Those aged 16 to 49 years who are carers

“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,” added Mr Swann.

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“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.”