The Department of Health has announced the Covid-19 vaccine in Northern Ireland has been extended to those aged 40-44.

From 12 noon on Thursday April 8, those falling under this age group will be able to book their coronavirus vaccine.

The 40-44 age bracket is defined as everyone born between 01/04/1976 and 31/03/1981.

Health Minister Robin Swann said: “Today’s extension of the vaccination programme will be very welcome news to people in this age group.

“Vaccination is by far our best defence against COVID-19 and is essential to our goal of getting Northern Ireland out of lockdown on a sustainable basis.”

People making bookings are asked to be patient, as demand for appointments will be strong.

The ongoing roll-out of the vaccination programme will continue to be dependent on the availability of vaccine supplies.

A spokesperson added: “Our progress to date would not have been possible without significant availability of AstraZeneca vaccines.

“The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) yesterday stated that the benefits of vaccination with the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine far outweigh any potential risks for people aged 30 and over and for those who have underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of severe COVID-19 disease, irrespective of age.

“In line with JCVI advice, people in Northern Ireland aged 18-29 who do not have an underlying medical condition will be offered an alternative vaccine, when this is available.

“It is very important that everyone who has already had their first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine gets their second dose of the same vaccine, irrespective of age. The only exception is for the very small number of people who experienced blood clots with low platelet counts following their first dose.”

If possible, booking should be done online HERE.

However, where online booking is not possible, the telephone booking number is 0300 200 7813.

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