By Niamh Brown
Domiciliary care workers and Independent sector staff will be able to receive their COVID-19 vaccinations from next week. They will be able to book vaccination appointments through at one of the vaccination Trust centres from Monday January 11.
Chief Social Worker Sean Holland commented that “As the roll-out of our staff vaccination programme continues we are now able to invite care workers to ensure they receive the vaccine. In line with the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation guidance initial doses of the vaccine will be prioritised.
“Domiciliary care workers and staff employed by independent care providers will be able to receive the vaccine through the Trust vaccination centres. I would encourage colleagues in this group to avail of the vaccine as soon as they can and book through the digital booking system.”
The phased health and social care vaccination programme will see dental, pharmacy and optometry teams called froward from January 11. The staff programme runs alongside the wider population vaccination which commenced in GP practices this week. Those aged 80 and over will be the first to be vaccinated, followed by the other priority groups set out by the JCVI.
The Department of Health has also emphasised that community pharmacies will have an important part to play in the COVID-19 vaccination programme. The department is currently working with the Health and Social Care Board and Community Pharmacy Northern Ireland to ensure community pharmacies to play a full and active part in vaccinating the population.
The COVID-19 vaccination programme will be scaled up rapidly in the coming weeks as more vaccines become available. As of Friday January 8, 74000 vaccinations have been administered in Northern Ireland. Of these, 64000 are first doses and 9000 second doses with 166 care homes having their second dose.