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Preparations must be advanced for vaccinations from age 12+, says Bradshaw

Alliance Health spokesperson Paula Bradshaw MLA has said the UK Government’s announcement it is extending vaccinations to all those aged 16+ demonstrates why preparations must be rapidly advanced for offering vaccines to all teenagers in Northern Ireland.

The South Belfast MLA was speaking after approval was given from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI). Initially one jab of the Pfizer vaccine will be offered to 16 and 17-year-olds, with reports stating they could start as early as this weekend.

“The Irish Government has long been vaccinating from age 16 upwards and will soon move to age 12, there is now little doubt the rest of the UK is heading in that direction too,” said Ms Bradshaw.

“This means preparations must be made to offer vaccines easily and reliably to everyone aged 12 and upwards in Northern Ireland. The very reason the JCVI has recommended reducing the age now is to limit school distribution, but since schools return earlier in Northern Ireland that only means we have to move faster.

“It is essential we improve vaccine uptake among all younger age groups as swiftly as possible, as vaccination is the way out of constant restrictions and disruption.”