15/06/2021

Health Minister Applauds Vaccination Take-Up Initiatives

Initiatives to support vaccination take-up have been applauded by Health Minister Robin Swann.

A targeted programme of pop-up clinics is being rolled out to different locations in Northern Ireland, helping local communities access vaccines.

Separately, GP practices will be getting in touch with patients aged 50 and over who have so far not come forward for their jabs. They will also contact still unvaccinated patients who were prioritised for the jab because of clinical risk factors. GP Practices will be engaging with these patients to encourage them to consider vaccination.

In addition, unvaccinated patients aged 40-49 will be contacted by telephone, text or letter by GP practices and encouraged to consider vaccination.

The pop-up mobile clinics will visit a number of local neighbourhoods in Northern Ireland in the coming weeks. This will help address potential barriers to vaccination such as mobility, accessibility and language.

The programme is being supported by the Public Health Agency, working closely with Heath and Social Care Trusts, Community Pharmacists and local councils.
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This vaccination outreach has also to date included: fishermen from other parts of the world based on the Co Down coast; asylum seekers; and people who are homeless.

The Health Minister said: "The take-up of the Covid-19 vaccines in Northern Ireland remains very strong. Demand continues to outpace supply and I would again appeal to people seeking to book their jabs to be patient. We will get to you as soon as supplies allow.

"Alongside the general vaccination programme, targeted work is ongoing to address any potential issues of vaccine accessibility or hesitancy. The pop-up clinics being delivered by the PHA are making a vital contribution.

"Vaccination is, of course, voluntary. It is important that people make informed choices and that any concerns they may have are sensitively addressed. That's what GPs will be doing when they make contact with patients who have not yet come forward for their jabs.

"I applaud these initiatives on take-up and all the work being done to continue the successful roll-out of the vaccination campaign.

"Vaccination provides vital protection to individuals, families, communities and wider society. It is essential that people get fully vaccinated through both doses – particularly in light of the emergence of the Delta variant."

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