Everyone over 18 in Northern Ireland can now register for Covid-19 vaccine
Over 70% of the adult population in Northern Ireland have received at least one dose.
The Covid-19 vaccination programme in Northern Ireland has officially opened for everyone aged 18 and over as more than 70% of the adult population have now received at least one Covid-19 vaccine dose.
From Thursday, anyone aged under 40 can book an appointment to receive the Pfizer vaccine at a trust centre.
Health Minister Robin Swann said he was "delighted" to be able to offer the jab to young people who have been "waiting patiently" on their turn.
“I am delighted that our vaccination programme is now open to all adults in Northern Ireland," he said.
“I know this will be very welcome news for young people who have been waiting patiently for their turn to get the jab.
“Today’s announcement is another important milestone in the drive to get as many people vaccinated as quickly as we can, so that we can see a return to normality.
“The tremendous success of the vaccination programme has brought great hope and has helped to enable the recent further easing of restrictions.
“The expansion of the vaccination programme, well ahead of schedule, to everyone aged 18 and over is testament to the hard work and dedication of all those involved in delivering the vaccine throughout Northern Ireland.”
Chief Medical Officer Dr Michael McBride added that he would encourage everyone over 18, "including those in older age groups" to step forward and receive a vaccination.
“I know that many young people will be very keen to book their jab now that they’re eligible for vaccination," he said.
“It’s important to understand that while the risk of severe disease is lower in young people, some may become very ill and, of course, they can pass on the virus to others who may be more vulnerable.
“We’re dealing with the emergence of new variants and we all have a part to play in keeping each other safe.
“I would urge everyone aged 18 and over to book a slot for vaccination, including those in older age groups who have not yet stepped forward.”