Northern Ireland vaccine: 60 walk-in clinics across NI campuses set to target students

By Sophie McLaughlin

Health Minister Robin Swann has announced details of a major push to vaccinate more students in Northern Ireland.

The 'Jabbathon' initiative will involve 60 walk-in clinics across some 30 campuses – offering first jabs to students across Northern Ireland’s universities and Further Education colleges.

It forms part of the ongoing vaccination push, as the take-up rate for first doses comes close to 90% of the adult population.

The Health Minister said: “I very much welcome the Jabbathon initiative and thank all those across the health and further and higher education sectors for their work in making this happen.

“A growing number of young people have been coming forward to get their jab and I am sure this extensive programme of targeted walk-in clinics will further increase take-up.

“By getting vaccinated, students will be playing a vital part in getting normality back – reducing the threat of disruption to their education and all aspects of student life.”

Mr Swann paid tribute to the contribution of the mass vaccination clinics, which have been operated by health trusts and have had a central role in Northern Ireland’s vaccination programme since they opened in December 2020.

He continued: “I want to thank everyone involved in these centres for their tireless work and inspirational commitment. They should certainly take pride in what has been achieved. Of course, we have more work still to do to further increase take-up and I am very pleased that the number of participating pharmacies is going to be increased significantly.”

This is on top of the ongoing programme of localised walk-in mobile clinics for everyone aged 16 and over. This programme covers high footfall locations, such as town centres and shopping centres. It also includes areas where accessibility issues and other barriers may have impacted take-up.

Plans have also been confirmed for walk-in vaccination clinics at the Balmoral Show later this month. In addition, vaccination will be offered to the farming community through the Public Health Agency’s Farm Families Health Checks Programme.

This innovative project consists of a mobile unit that visits local markets and community events across Northern Ireland. It offers on-the-spot health checks covering such areas as Blood Pressure monitoring, BMI, cholesterol check and diabetic screening – and now Covid-19 vaccination as well.

Northern Ireland’s mass vaccination clinics will cease operating this weekend. They have been concentrating mainly on administering second vaccines doses since the end of July.

Vaccination will continue to be available through an expanding network of participating pharmacies. For details of your nearest participating community pharmacy, see: www.healthandcareni.net/pharmacy_rota/Covid_Moderna_Vaccination_Pharmacies.html

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