New Covid-19 vaccination push as students return to campus
Unvaccinated students will be encouraged to get jabbed at a number of walk-in clinics at university and college campuses this week.
Health Minister Robin Swann has welcomed the ‘Jabbathon’ initiative, and called on students to get vaccinated ahead of the new academic year.
Vaccines will also be provided at the Balmoral Show, with a walk-in clinic running every day.
The Ulster Unionist minister said: “The drive to get as many people in Northern Ireland vaccinated continues with a series of walk-in clinics.
“Every single vaccination counts, for individuals, for their family and friends and for our health service.
“We are all deeply concerned about the immense pressures on the health and care system.
“Getting your jab is the single most important thing you can do for the health service and its staff.”
Figures published by the Department of Health last week showed that of those in intensive care wards with Covid, 72% are totally unvaccinated.
Some 8% have had one dose and 20% have had two doses.
Totally unvaccinated people make up less than 12% of the adult population, but account for 72% of people in ICU.
This week’s Balmoral Show walk-in clinic, run by the South Eastern Trust, will be open 10am to 6pm from Wednesday to Friday and from 10am to 5pm on Saturday.
A number of this week’s Jabbathon walk-in clinics are open to the general public.
The walk-in clinics will be available at Queen’s University, Belfast, Stranmillis College, St Mary’s University College, Ulster University and Belfast Metropolitan College campuses.
The clinics will also be available in other third-level college campuses throughout Northern Ireland, including Strabane, Omagh and Enniskillen.
In the Republic, pop-up vaccination centres will also open across many college c ampuses when students return this month, Ireland’s higher education minister has said.
Simon Harris said the initiative is to make it “as easy as possible” for students and staff to get vaccinated against Covid. More than 83% of people in the Republic between 16 and 29 have had their first dose and more than 78% are fully vaccinated.