Vaccination programme in Northern Ireland
The COVID-19 vaccination programme is currently being delivered at Trust vaccination sites and GP practices. Some community pharmacies are also now offering COVID-19 vaccinations.
It is based on the recommendations of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), an independent expert group. JCVI has recommended which groups should be prioritised to receive the vaccine.
The Department of Health has published a vaccination phased plan document on their website, outlining when different groups can expect to get the vaccine and how it will be deployed:
Vaccine safety and effectiveness
The vaccines have met strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness set out by the independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
The following groups of people are being offered vaccination by either GPs, community pharmacies or at regional vaccination centres.
Vaccination at a community pharmacy
To be vaccinated at a community pharmacy, you must be registered with a GP in Northern Ireland and be in one of the following eligible groups:
- aged 40 years and over at 31 March 2021
- health and social care workers (aged 30 or over at 31 March 2021)
- clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) individuals (aged 18 years or over, must have shielding letter) - those aged 18 to 29 years who are yet to receive any vaccine are not eligible for vaccination through community pharmacy unless they are in the CEV category
At present those aged 35 to 39 cannot book a vaccination slot at a community pharmacy. This is expected to change in the next few weeks.
For more information on eligibility and to find out if your local pharmacy is offering this service, see:
If you book with a community pharmacy but are not eligible your appointment will be cancelled.
Those aged 35 years or older
At present anyone who is aged 35 years and over (born on or before 31 March 1986) can book their COVID-19 vaccination appointments at one of Northern Ireland's regional vaccination centres (if they have not already been invited to receive the vaccine by their GP).
For the first few weeks the majority of available vaccination slots will be at the SSE Arena but more slots will become available at the other vaccination centres by the end of April.
You can book your vaccination at:
Clinically Extremely Vulnerable aged over 16 at 31 March 2021
Anyone aged over 16 years of age at 31 March 2021 who has been classed as Clinical Extremely Vulnerable (CEV) or Clinically Vulnerable (CV) can also book online.
You should have received a letter from your GP advising you if you’re in one of these categories.
You can book your vaccination at a regional vaccination centre at:
You may also get vaccinated at a local pharmacy. Find out if your local pharmacy is offering this service at:
16 to 17 year olds with an underlying condition
If you’re aged 16 to 17, with an underlying condition and have a letter from your GP, you can book your vaccination at a regional vaccination centre.
You cannot book an appointment at the SSE Arena.
If you're the main carer (aged 18 or over on the 31 March 2021) of an elderly or disabled person and have been unable to book an appointment through the online booking platform or call centre, you should contact your local Trust care co-ordinator.
If possible, contact by email only and the co-ordinator will respond to you as soon as possible.
They will take your details and arrange to have a vaccination slot booked at the regional vaccination centre.
Contact details of each of the Trust’s care co-ordinators are:
- telephone Carer Hub: 028 2766 1210
- email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- telephone Carer Service: 028 9504 2126
- email: CarerSuppSvcs@belfasttrust.hscni.net
- telephone: 028 3756 6284
- email: email@example.com
- telephone: 028 6634 4163 or 028 7135 5023
- email: firstname.lastname@example.org
South Eastern Trust
- telephone: 028 4372 1807
- email: email@example.com
Adults with underlying medical conditions and their carers
GPs are now making vaccination available to more medically vulnerable people and their carers.
This will include people aged over 18 who have underlying medical conditions but who did not receive a shielding letter.
There is no need to contact your GP, as they will invite people to receive the vaccine based on their vaccine supply.
This phase of the programme will take several weeks to complete.
Telephone booking service
If you are eligible for a vaccination centre appointment and cannot make an online booking, you can book your vaccination by telephone on 0300 200 7813.
The telephone booking service is available from every day from 8.00 am to 8.00 pm.
Changing or cancelling a vaccination appointment
If you have booked an online COVID-19 vaccination appointment it’s important to keep it.
If you can no longer attend, information on how to change or cancel your appointment is at the following link:
You can also cancel your vaccination by telephone on 0300 200 7813, every day, 8.00 am to 8.00 pm.
Transport to vaccination centres
If you need transport to get to your vaccination appointment, community transport may be able to help, subject to availability.
For more information, contact your local community operator - contact details are at the following links:
Getting to the SSE Arena vaccination centre
If you’re travelling to the SSE Arena for your vaccination, free parking is available at Eastside and Northside car parks in Belfast. There will be a free shuttle-bus service from these car parks, as well as from the Europa Bus Centre.
The G2 Glider services runs every 15 minutes from the city centre or you can get a train to Titanic Quarter station, a short walk from the SSE Arena.
When travelling on public transport, face coverings must be worn and social distancing practices observed.
All transport services are provided within COVID-19 guidance regulations.
Social distancing after being vaccinated
While either vaccine may help protect you from coronavirus, it's still important to follow social distancing and other public health guidance, as well as complying with any restrictions to keep each other safe.
Further information about the vaccine
The Public Health Agency has developed a frequently asked questions section, including leaflets, about the vaccine on its website: