orthern Ireland’s chief medical officer has inspired take-up of the Covid-19 vaccine as eligibility expanded to the over-40s.
All these aged between 40 and 44 have been in a position to guide a jab from midday on Thursday.
Dr Michael McBride mentioned he strongly encourages everybody to return ahead for his or her vaccination after they become eligible.
People underneath the age of 30 in Northern Ireland are to be provided alternate options to the AstraZeneca jab after the UK medicines regulator mentioned there was a potential hyperlink between the jab and “extremely rare” blood clots.
The Medicines and Healthcare merchandise Regulatory Agency (MHRA) mentioned the advantages of the vaccine nonetheless outweigh the dangers general.
Dr McBride – who has acquired his first dose of AstraZeneca – mentioned the professional recommendation is obvious that the advantages “far outweigh any potential risk for the vast majority of adults”.
“The potential risk from this rare blood clotting condition is extremely low – and a definite link to vaccination has not yet been established,” he mentioned.
“The danger/profit calculation is completely different for these underneath 30, as a result of diminished menace posed to this age group by Covid and the supply of different vaccines.
“For the remainder of us, it’s important to know that Covid-19 represents a a lot larger danger. Covid-19 has claimed many lives in Northern Ireland and left many others with debilitating long-term well being points. It can also be the case that Covid an infection itself brings an elevated danger of blood clots.”
Dr McBride mentioned it’s thanks for the AstraZeneca vaccine that Northern Ireland is in a “much better position than it was at the start of the year”.
“It will continue to have a vital role in saving lives, reducing hospitalisations and helping us move out of lockdown,” he mentioned.
“Like tons of of 1000’s of different individuals in Northern Ireland, I used to be very happy and relieved to obtain my first AstraZeneca dose. I’m trying ahead to receiving my second AZ jab when my flip comes.
“We all wish to reside with out a fixed dread of Covid and to get our outdated lives again. Vaccination has a vital position in making certain we now have a greater and safer summer season.”
Health Minister Robin Swann earlier welcomed the newest eligibility enlargement.
“Vaccination is by far our best defence against Covid-19 and is essential to our goal of getting Northern Ireland out of lockdown on a sustainable basis,” he mentioned.
The Department of Health described the rollout of the vaccination programme as depending on the supply of vaccine provides.
By Wednesday, nearly a million doses of vaccine had been administered in Northern Ireland.
Of the 958,783 whole, 790,860 have been first doses and 167,923 have been second doses.
Vaccinations in Northern Ireland will be booked on-line at https://covid-19.hscni.web/get-vaccinated/
Where on-line reserving just isn’t potential, the phone reserving quantity is 0300 200 7813.
On Thursday, the deaths of an additional two individuals who had beforehand examined optimistic for Covid-19 in Northern Ireland have been introduced by the Department of Health.
Another 98 confirmed circumstances have been recorded within the final 24-hour reporting interval.
On Thursday morning, there have been 102 confirmed Covid-positive inpatients in hospital, of whom 12 have been in intensive care.