Chief Pharmaceutical Officer Cathy Harrison has encouraged people to take advantage of the Big Jab Weekend taking place at around 50 community pharmacies on Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 December.
Speaking after getting her Covid-19 booster jab at a community pharmacy today, Cathy Harrison said: "This weekend presents a fantastic opportunity to get vaccinated. For anyone not yet vaccinated, it's not too late. Community pharmacies are providing first and second doses to anyone over 18, as well as booster jabs for those who are eligible.
"This weekend will see some 50 community pharmacies across Northern Ireland ramping up their Covid-19 booster vaccination push with a series of additional clinics on Saturday and Sunday. Some pharmacies will be offering walk-in clinics, while others are taking bookings."
A list of pharmacies participating in the Big Jab Weekend is published online. Pharmacies will have their own local arrangements and opening hours in place. People should check the pharmacy's social media channels or contact their local pharmacy for details and updates. Details may change in response to demand and local circumstances.
The programme in pharmacies will complement the ongoing booster provision by a network of Health Trust hubs, Trust walk-in clinics, pharmacies and GPs. In line with current criteria, boosters are being offered to:
- people aged 50 and over who had their second doses at least three months ago;
- 40-49-year-olds who had their second doses at least six months ago. Eligibility for 40-49-year-olds will be gradually widened in the coming weeks reducing to the recommended three month interval.
The Health Trust hubs are also offering first and second doses to the 12 and over age group. Participating community pharmacies are likewise providing first and second doses to the 18 plus age bracket.
Information on the locations and opening times of the Health Trust vaccination hubs are available on health trust websites and on NI Direct
The Chief Executive of Community Pharmacy NI, Gerard Greene, said: "Throughout the pandemic, the community pharmacy workforce has gone above and beyond to support people across Northern Ireland and have played a vital role in rolling out the Covid-19 vaccine.
"Pharmacies are ideally placed in the heart of communities and provide a very accessible option for people - I would encourage people to come forward for vaccination this weekend and get that all important protection that vaccination provides."