A major extension of Northern Ireland’s Covid-19 vaccination programme has today been announced which will see the start of a major vaccination drive for carers, with GPs and the regional vaccination centres both playing their part.

GPs will be making vaccination available to more medically vulnerable people and their carers. There is no need to contact your GP – if you are registered as a carer with your GP,  they will invite you to receive the vaccine based on their vaccine supply. This phase of the programme will take several weeks to complete, so please be patient.

Carers aged 60 to 64, who are not registered with their GP will have the option of booking a vaccination at one of the seven regional centres. Booking will be available if you were born between 01/04/56 and 31/03/61 and are in receipt of Carer’s Allowance or Carer’s Credit; are a registered care home Care Partner; are the main carer of an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if you as carer fall ill. People are asked to respect these criteria when booking. Carers in lower age groups can be assured that we will expand the age eligibility as soon as possible in the coming days and weeks.

The locations are:

Belfast Trust – Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast

South Eastern Trust – Ulster Hospital, Dundonald

Southern Trust – South Lake Leisure Centre, Craigavon

Northern Trust – Seven Towers Leisure Centre, Ballymena

Western Trust - Foyle Arena, Londonderry, Omagh Leisure Centre, Omagh; and Lakeside Leisure Centre, Enniskillen.

To make a vaccination centre appointment by phone, call 0300 200 7813. The phone line is open Monday to Friday from 8.30 am to 5.30 pm.

To make an appointment online, go to https://covid-19.hscni.net/get-vaccinated

Anyone attending a vaccination centre can be assured that social distancing and other Covid safety rules are strictly applied. People must get their first and second doses from the same provider – they must not try to “mix and match” between GPs and vaccination centres.

Read the Minster of Health’s, Robin Swann announcement in full online: https://www.health-ni.gov.uk/