SSE Arena to become vaccination centre from April

  • The SSE Arena in Belfast will be used as a vaccination centre for Northern Ireland’s adult population.

    It will open in April as a facility for those 60 and under, not already vaccinated through the health trust or GP programmes.

    Health Minister Robin Swann said: “The mass vaccination centre at the SSE Arena signals yet another significant step forward in the rollout of the vaccination programme across Northern Ireland.

    “The programme is continuing at pace and we are likely to begin vaccinating priority group 7, followed quickly by all other priority groups, starting in early April.

    “This will see everyone aged 60 and under being offered the vaccine – a monumental next step in a population-wide vaccination programme.”

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    In addition to the SSE Arena, trusts will continue to operate large vaccination centres across Northern Ireland, with GPs running local vaccination clinics.

    Access will then be opened further with community pharmacies providing vaccinations on the high street.

    The vaccination programme recently opened to all carers aged 18 and over who are the main carer for someone elderly or disabled.

    There is no definitive list of carers and there are many unpaid carers.

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    The minister said: “There are many elderly or disabled people who rely on carers to look after them and their welfare would be a risk if their carer took ill.

    “We must continue to protect the most vulnerable from the effects of Covid.

    “That includes doing the right thing and waiting your turn.”

    New research led by Public Health Scotland has today revealed that Scottish hospital admissions were reduced by 85% and 94% at four weeks after the first dose of the Pfizer and AstraZeneca jabs respectively. 

    This is the first sign of the vaccines' real world impacts in the UK and figures for England are expected to be released later, says BBC News.

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