Given the huge rise in COVID-19 cases in Northern Ireland, vaccination is now seen as the most important factor in protecting the general population against serious illness.
As of yesterday (17 Jan) 146,733 total vaccines have been administered, of which 31,393 have been administered to those over 80 years of age by GPs.
Dr Margaret O’Brien, Head of GP Services, Health and Social Care Board said, “Last week, all GP practices received at least 1 box of 100 doses of the AZ oxford vaccine, enough for at least 30% of their initial cohort of 80 year and older patients. We expect more vaccines to be available this week and for GPs to complete vaccination of this cohort by end January. GPs are working as quickly as they can but are dependent on vaccine availability”.
GP Practices are extremely experienced in delivering vaccination programmes and how and where to run their covid vaccination clinics. Patients will be vaccinated according to a priority list set by the Department of Health.
Patients over 80 years old and over are being vaccinated first, followed by those over 75 and then the over 70s and people with serious underlying health conditions. Everyone who is invited for vaccination is strongly urged to get it.
Local GP surgeries are reassuring patients that they will be contacted about the COVID-19 vaccination as soon as they are eligible to receive it. They’re also asking people to be patient and not to call to ask when they will be getting their vaccine.