Target hit as NI sees around 55% boosted

The UK Government has said it has met its target of offering every adult a booster jab by the end of the year.

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 1st January 2022, 7:00 am
Updated Saturday, 1st January 2022, 7:02 am
Coronavirus vaccine
Coronavirus vaccine

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) announced on Friday that it had met the goal set by the Prime Minister to ensure all eligible over-18s in England had the chance to get their vaccines by December 31.

In Northern Ireland, walk-in clinics and appointment booking has been available for everyone aged over 18 since December 20.

On Thursday, a spokesperson for Stormont’s Executive Office said “almost 50 per cent of the population aged 12 and over have received a booster or third dose of the vaccine.”

The latest figures from the Department of Health, published on Friday afternoon, show that a total of 802,505 boosters had been administered in Northern Ireland.

Another 19,144 third doses — jabs given mostly to those considered clinically extremely vulnerable to coronavirus — had also been administered.

Assuming the overwhelming majority of boosters in Northern Ireland have been given to those aged at least 18, that means around 55% of the population here has been boosted.

Meanwhile, the NHS Confederation said it was “encouraging” to see people coming forward for their jabs, but it had heard reports that some vaccination clinics were only a third full as cases of the Omicron variant continued to rise rapidly.

Chief executive Matthew Taylor said some primary care leaders had told the organisation that people were not turning up to as many as 40% of their booked appointments.

“It is encouraging to see people still coming forward for their first and second doses, as well as the massive achievement on boosters,” he said. “However, cases of Omicron are rising rapidly… Health leaders are worried about the level of illness and demand that their staff across the NHS could have to respond to in January.”

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