Northern Ireland’s Health and Social Care Trusts have stood up their staff vaccination clinics from the beginning of this week as part of a phased programme.
Chief Medical Officer Dr Michael McBride said: “All staff working in Health and Social Care will be able to get the vaccination in line with the advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation.
“However, as supplies of the Pfizer/BioNtech vaccine are limited at this stage, we need to prioritise who will get the vaccine in the next few weeks. Staff should wait to be called forward by their respective Trust.
“Trusts will be advising staff when and how they will receive the COVID-19 vaccine and I would urge all staff who are eligible at this stage to take up the offer as quickly as possible.
“The initial priority will be those staff working closely with patients who are considered to be most at risk.
“All staff will be offered the vaccine in due course.
“Staff in the priority vaccination groups will be able to book their vaccination slot via dedicated booking line. HSC Trusts will inform their staff who are in the early deployment groups and encourage them to book their vaccinations through a digital booking platform.”
All the clinics will be operating up to and including Christmas Eve with further dates being added from December 27.
A Departmental letter setting out the early deployment framework for the vaccine has been issued to Trusts.
Seven Trust vaccination centres are being established for the staff vaccination process. 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.
The full roll-out of the vaccine is scheduled to continue until the summer of 2021. Further population groups will be added to the programme on a phased basis, with priority given to age and other clinical vulnerability factors.