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No further Covid-related deaths as vaccine opens to 35-39 year olds earlier than expected

Covid vaccine

There have been no further Covid-related deaths reported by the Department of Health in Northern Ireland today (Monday).

According to the official dashboard, the Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council area accounts for 285 deaths overall. Newry, Mourne and Down District accounts for 165 deaths and Mid-Ulster accounts for 203.

The overall total number of deaths recorded by the Department still stands at 2,135.

There were a further 79 – down three – positive cases reported in the last 24 hours with five in Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon. There was also a further 10 in Newry, Mourne and Down – second highest in NI – and another five in Mid-Ulster.

A total of 2,305 individuals were tested.

There are 69 people – one more than yesterday – in hospitals across Northern Ireland as a result of the virus, eight – also up one on Sunday – of whom are in intensive care units.

There are nine – two less than Sunday – Covid patients in Southern Trust hospitals; four of whom are in Craigavon.

There are currently 25 ICU beds available in Northern Ireland.

Meanwhile, the vaccine programme in Northern Ireland has some limited availability for those aged 35 to 39 to book a Covid-19 vaccine.

This opportunity is in advance of opening the programme to the entire 35-39 age group by the end of April.

Appointments are mainly available at the vaccine centre at the SSE Arena and bookings will be available from 2.00pm today.  Appointments in community pharmacies will be made available to 35-39 year olds later in April as vaccine supplies permit.

Health Minister Robin Swann said: “I have always been clear that we would move through the vaccine programme as quickly as vaccine deliveries and capacity allows as recommended by JCVI.  I recently announced that we successfully administered over one million vaccines across Northern Ireland to the highest priority groups.

“This figure is expected to rise exponentially as the Trust vaccine centres and GP practices continue to deliver second doses while the vaccine centre at the SSE Arena and the Community pharmacists push ahead to deliver first doses.

“Opening up to 35-39 year olds earlier than expected is a testament to the hard work and dedication of all staff who are delivering the vaccination programme in Northern Ireland.

“I encourage those who are eligible to seize this opportunity and take up the offer of vaccination. Getting the vaccine not only protects you but also those close to you.  I would also strongly encourage anyone aged 40 years or over who hasn’t booked themselves a vaccination appointment yet to do so as soon as possible.”

In line with recent JCVI advice, those living in the same house with someone who is severely immunosuppressed will also be able to access the programme shortly, once their household has received a letter from their GP.

Appointments at this stage are limited and the Department is asking for patience.  If you cannot get an appointment immediately keep trying.  Appointments will be more widely available by the end of April.

If possible, booking should be done online at: https://covid-19.hscni.net/get-vaccinated

However, where online booking is not possible, the telephone booking number is 0300 200 7813.

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