Stormont Health Minister Robin Swann has confirmed that a Covid booster vaccination programme will commence in Northern Ireland as further Covid deaths announced
The news come as seven further deaths of patients who had tested positive for Covid-19 have been reported in Northern Ireland.
Mr Swann’s announcement follows advice from the UK’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) recommending booster jabs.
The jabs will be offered to those in phase one of the original vaccination rollout.
That includes all adults over 50; frontline health care workers; care home residents; people aged 16-49 with underlying health conditions; and adult household contacts of people who are immunosuppressed.
Mr Swann said: “Our Covid-19 vaccination programme in Northern Ireland has been successful in protecting people from serious illness and has ultimately saved many, many lives.
“Introducing a booster programme will help to prolong protection in those most at risk from this virus and reduce hospitalisations as we head into colder weather and what will be a challenging period for our health service.”
The Department of Health said there had also been 1,590 new confirmed cases in the last 24-hour reporting period.
On Tuesday morning, there were 441 Covid-19 inpatients in hospital, 41 of whom were in intensive care.