The rising tide of COVID-19 cases underlines the urgent need for more people to get their vaccine booster doses, Health Minister Robin Swann has stated.
NI’s updated COVID-19 dashboard shows 30,423 new cases over a four-day period, with 15 Covid-related deaths sadly recorded.
The Minister pointed to recently published NI statistics on Vaccination Status and Deaths and Hospitalisations.
When compared to fully vaccinated individuals who have also received their booster or third dose, unvaccinated individuals aged 50 and over are almost 30 times as likely to be admitted to hospital with COVID-19.
The Health Minister stated: “As expected, we are now facing into an unprecedented surge, due to the Omicron variant. These figures are deeply concerning and will inevitably mean yet more pressures for health and social care services.
“The risk of getting infected with COVID is considerably higher than at any previous time in the pandemic. Faced with this very real threat, getting your booster dose right now is the single most important step you can take.
“This will give you vital protection, particularly from getting seriously ill from the virus. Think about it as loading the odds in your favour.
“Don’t delay and end up lying in a hospital bed regretting the fact you just didn’t get round to it."
Boosters are available from Health Trust vaccination centres, participating pharmacies and GPs. It has never been easier to get your booster with plenty of available appointments to book or walk-in.
Chief Medical Officer Professor Sir Michael McBride said: “If you’re eligible for your booster, please get it now. If you are over 50, you in particular need to get it now. If you haven’t had your first or second dose, it’s still not too late – some protection is better than none.”
To get instant information on Trust and pharmacy vaccination clinics near you, type in your postcode or town at this link: https://vaccinations.covid-19.hscni.net/location-search
Trust vaccination centres are offering walk-ins and bookings. To be eligible for a booster, it must be at least three months since your second jab.