All adults become eligible for a Covid vaccine in Northern Ireland

27 May 2021, 09:23

All adults in Northern Ireland can book a vaccine jab
All adults in Northern Ireland can book a vaccine jab. Picture: PA

By Will Taylor

All adults in Northern Ireland can now book their coronavirus vaccine.

The country's health minister said it was an important milestone on the route back to normality.

It means people aged 18 and over can join the more than one million people there who have had at least one dose of a vaccine – or 70% of the adult population.

Health Minister Robin Swann said: "I am delighted that our vaccination programme is now open to all adults in Northern Ireland.

"I know this will be very welcome news for young people who have been waiting patiently for their turn to get the jab.

"Today's announcement is another important milestone in the drive to get as many people vaccinated as quickly as we can, so that we can see a return to normality."

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More than 625,000 people, or 40% of adults in Northern Ireland, have had both doses.

Mr Swann added the vaccine programme has "brought great hope", enabled more restrictions to be eased, and was "well ahead of schedule".

Anyone aged under 40 can arrange an appointment to receive the Pfizer jab.

Northern Ireland's Chief Medical Officer Dr Michael McBride said: "I know that many young people will be very keen to book their jab now that they're eligible for vaccination.

"It's important to understand that while the risk of severe disease is lower in young people, some may become very ill and, of course, they can pass on the virus to others who may be more vulnerable.

"We're dealing with the emergence of new variants and we all have a part to play in keeping each other safe.

"I would urge everyone aged 18 and over to book a slot for vaccination, including those in older age groups who have not yet stepped forward."