The life-saving vaccination programme which will protect Northern Ireland against deadly viruses ahead of winter will commence on 18 September, it will see flu and COVID-19 vaccines offered to over 1 million people in Northern Ireland within eligible groups over coming months, starting with care homes which are some of the most vulnerable members of our community. 

COVID 19 Vaccine

The COVID-19 booster vaccine will be offered to the following cohorts, in line with JCVI guidance:

· residents in a care home for older adults 

· all adults aged 65 years and over

· persons aged 6 months to 64 years in a clinical risk group, as laid out in the Immunisation Green Book, COVID-19 chapter (Green Book)

· frontline health and social care workers

· persons aged 12 to 64 years who are household contacts (as defined in the Green Book) of people with immunosuppression persons aged 16 to 64 years who are carers (as defined in the Green Book) and staff working in care homes for older adults

Flu Vaccines

Those eligible for HSC flu vaccine in 2023/24 are:

  • all preschool children aged two to four years on 1 September 2023
  • all primary and secondary (up to and including year 12) school children
  • those aged six months to under 65 years in clinical risk groups (as defined by the influenza chapter in ‘Immunisation against infectious disease’ (the ‘Green Book’)
  • all those aged 65 years and over on 31 March 2024
  • pregnant women
  • those in long-stay residential care homes
  • carers
  • close contacts of immunocompromised individuals
  • frontline health and social care workers (HSCWs) employed by:
    • Health and social care Trusts including Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS)
    • community HSC providers including GP practices, pharmacies, dentists, optometrists
    • registered independent sector residential care or nursing home
    • registered domiciliary care providers
    • voluntary managed hospice providers

Vaccines' Delivery Methods

Vaccines are our best protection against COVID-19 and seasonal flu. Protection from the COVID-19 vaccine can fade over time so it is important you get vaccinated with the 2023/2024 autumn-winter vaccine to keep your protection topped up. The flu vaccine is needed every year as the antibodies that protect you from flu decline over time, and flu strains change from year to year.

The flu vaccine is needed every year as the antibodies that protect you from flu decline over time, and flu strains change from year to year.

People who are eligible for vaccination against COVID-19 or flu this autumn and winter should make themselves aware of their own GP surgery’s or community pharmacist’s vaccination arrangements and work with them to get vaccinated.

Vaccines are safe and are the most effective way to prevent infectious diseases as they teach our immune system how to recognise and fight viruses.

Although we are learning to live with COVID-19, it hasn’t gone away and could potentially result in a real health threat particularly for vulnerable members of our community.

Information about the vaccination programme and who is eligible is at: