Northern Ireland Health Minister Robin Swann has welcomed the publication of the JCVI recommendations for the COVID-19 autumn programme.

Care home residents and carers are among those recommended for a booster.

Mr Swann (pictured) said: “We can now step up our planning to deliver our autumn booster programme in Northern Ireland, based on this JCVI guidance.

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“Vaccination provides vital protection against COVID-19, and has been particularly effective at reducing the risk of serious illness, hospitalisation and death.

“When we think back to where we were in 2020 before vaccines became available, we are reminded just how much we owe to all those who made our vaccine programme possible.

“Our vaccination programme in Northern Ireland has involved a huge collective effort right across health and social care.

“The JCVI advice for this autumn means boosters will be available to a large section of our population, who JCVI believe would benefit most from receiving a booster dose. Delivering this programme will be a major logistical operation for our health service but I am very confident we will rise to the challenge once again, despite all the pressures our service continues to face.

“Vaccination is our chief defence against COVID-19 and I would again urge everyone who is eligible for a booster as part of our autumn programme to come forward as soon as it becomes available.”

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