All those in Northern Ireland aged 18 and over who are the main carer for someone elderly or disabled can now book a coronavirus vaccination at one of the seven regional centres.
The Department of Health had been opening up appointments for carers within certain age ranges this week, but the age criteria has now been removed.
“Carers play a vital role in our society and are essential to those they look after,” Health Minister Robin Swann said.
“Should a carer fall ill, the needs and welfare of those they care for could be put at risk.
“This week, we moved daily to increase the number of carers eligible, working our way down the age bands. Today I have decided to remove the age criteria and open this up to all carers.”
The vaccination programme in Northern Ireland is changing daily as we bring more and more people forward to get vaccinated. If you have been offered the vaccine, I urge you to use your appointment, take up the offer and protect yourself and others.
GP & district nurses roll-out
70 plus age group
vulnerable people aged 18 and over and their carers, including those who have underlying medical conditions but did not receive a shielding letter - largely mirroring those who receive the winter flu vaccine each year
anyone aged 65 and over confined to their home due to ill health or disability
According to the Department of Health, there is no need to contact your GP as they will invite people to receive the vaccine based on their supply.
Regional centres roll-out
carers aged 18 and over
65 to 69 age group
Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV) people who received a shielding letter
70 plus people who have not yet had their vaccination from their GP
Vaccination centre appointments can be made online at https://covid-19.hscni.net/get-vaccinated or, for those who cannot access the online portal, by phone on 0300 200 7813, Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 5.30pm.
Social distancing and other Covid safety rules are strictly applied at the centres.
The Department of Health also advises that people must get their first and second doses from the same provider – they must not try to “mix and match” between GPs and vaccination centres.
Dr Michael McBride speaks about the latest stage of the vaccine rollout: