Domiciliary care workers and independent sector staff will be able to receive the Covid-19 vaccine from today.
Chief Social Worker Sean Holland has confirmed that domiciliary care workers and those working in the independent sector will be able to book an available appointment for vaccination at one of the Trust vaccination centres from today, (Monday) January 11
He said: “As the roll-out of our staff vaccination programme continues we are now able to invite care workers to ensure they receive the vaccine. In line with the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation guidance initial doses of the vaccine will be prioritised.
“Domiciliary care workers and staff employed by independent care providers will be able to receive the vaccine through the Trust vaccination centres.
“I would encourage colleagues in this group to avail of the vaccine as soon as they can and book through the digital booking platform.”
The phased health and social care staff vaccination programme will see dental, pharmacy and optometry teams called forward from January 18.
The staff programme runs alongside the wider population vaccination programme which commenced in GP practices this week. Those aged 80 and over will be the first to be vaccinated, followed by the other priority groups as set out by JCVI.
The Chief Social Worker added: “I am immensely grateful to all who work in this sector for your dedication. Throughout the pandemic you have shown bravery, skill and commitment. Those in receipt of homecare are often amongst the most vulnerable in our communities and you have been there for them throughout this pandemic.”
The vaccination programme continues apace and as of Friday 74,000 vaccinations have been administered in NI. Of these, some 65,000 are first doses and 9,000 second doses with 166 care homes having their 2nd dose.
The Department of Health has also emphasised that community pharmacy has an important part to play in the delivery of the COVID-19 vaccination programme.
A spokesperson said: “The skills of our highly trained community pharmacy teams have already been instrumental in supporting the delivery of this year’s flu vaccination programme with over 14,000 vaccines administered to health and social care workers across Northern Ireland, and from Monday 11th January community pharmacies are also supporting the extension of the flu vaccination programme to 50 to 64 year olds.
“The Covid-19 vaccination programme will be scaled up significantly and rapidly over the coming weeks as more vaccines become available, and the Department is currently working with the Health and Social Care Board and Community Pharmacy Northern Ireland to put plans in place for community pharmacies to play a full and active part in meeting the major public health challenge of our time.