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The vaccine programme in Northern Ireland has some limited availability for those aged 35 to 39 to book a COVID-19 jab, the Department of Health has announced.

This comes ahead of 23rd of April, where close contact services (including those provided from a mobile setting) can reopen strictly by appointment in Northern Ireland. From 30th of April, all non-essential retail is permitted to reopen.

Although mobility retailers are deemed essential in Northern Ireland, which means they have been able to stay open during lockdown restrictions, having more people vaccinated should see an increase in footfall for mobility shops in the coming weeks as people return to stores.

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The limited opportunity for some people aged 35-39 to get a COVID vaccine is in advance of opening the programme to the entire group by the end of April.

Appointments are mainly available at the vaccine centre at the SSE Arena and bookings opened at 2pm yesterday. Appointments in community pharmacies will be made available to 35–39-year-olds later in April as vaccine supplies permit, the Department of Health highlights.

Health Minister Robin Swann said: “I have always been clear that we would move through the vaccine programme as quickly as vaccine deliveries and capacity allows as recommended by JCVI.

“Opening up to 35-39 year olds earlier than expected is a testament to the hard work and dedication of all staff who are delivering the vaccination programme in Northern Ireland.

“I encourage those who are eligible to seize this opportunity and take up the offer of vaccination. Getting the vaccine not only protects you but also those close to you.  I would also strongly encourage anyone aged 40 years or over who hasn’t booked themselves a vaccination appointment yet to do so as soon as possible.”

In line with recent JCVI advice, those living in the same house with someone who is severely immunosuppressed will also be able to access the programme shortly, once their household has received a letter from their GP.

If possible, booking one of the limited appointments should be done online here. However, where online booking is not possible, the telephone booking number is 0300 200 7813.

The health minister recently called for long-term and sustainable funding from government to fix Northern Ireland’s “dire” waiting lists.

He said that the pandemic has significantly impacted waiting times for health and social care appointments in Northern Ireland and highlighted some serious long-established fragilities in the health and social care system, particularly regarding staffing capacity.

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https://i2.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/vaccination.jpg?fit=900%2C600&ssl=1https://i2.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/vaccination.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1Sarah SarsbyGovernment & Local AuthoritiesNewsroomSector NewsCOVID vaccine,COVID-19 jab,Department of Health,mobility retailers,mobility shops,Northern ireland,Northern Ireland vaccination,Northern Ireland vaccination rollout,SSE ArenaThe vaccine programme in Northern Ireland has some limited availability for those aged 35 to 39 to book a COVID-19 jab, the Department of Health has announced. This comes ahead of 23rd of April, where close contact services (including those provided from a mobile setting) can reopen strictly by appointment...News, views & products for mobility, access and independent living professionals