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:
The vaccines have met strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness set out by the independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). More information is available at:
The following groups of people are being offered vaccination by either GPs, community pharmacies or at regional vaccination centres.
Following the latest advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) it is preferable if people aged under 40 receive the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. In NI this will be accommodated through the regional Trust vaccination centres.
The JCVI has also advised that those aged under 40 may still make an informed choice to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine.
More information about the latest JCVI statement can be found at this link:
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 30 years and over at 30 April 2021
- health and social care workers (aged 30 or over at 30 April 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
If you are a carer; pregnant or resident in a care home, you cannot be vaccinated at a community pharmacy at this time. However you may still be able to get a vaccination from your GP or local HSC Trust.
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.
If you are blind or partially sighted and need help in accessing the details of your local participating pharmacy, you can contact RNIB, Monday to Friday from 8.00 am to 8.00 pm and Saturday from 9.00 am to 1.00 pm.
This is not a booking line and the operator cannot help organise any vaccination appointments.
- phone: 0303 123 9999
- email: email@example.com
Calls cost no more than a standard rate call, or count towards any inclusive minutes, to an 01 or 02 number. The price of calls varies between different providers, so check with your provider if you are unsure.
Those aged 30 years or older
At present anyone who is aged 30 years and over (born on or before 30 April 1991) 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). The majority of available vaccination slots will be at the SSE Arena and community pharmacies.
You can book your vaccination at:
You may also get vaccinated at a local pharmacy. Find out if your local pharmacy is offering this service at:
Clinically Extremely Vulnerable aged over 16 at 30 June 2021
Anyone aged over 16 years of age at 30 June 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 (but not at the SSE Arena) at:
As the vaccination programme will soon be open to the last remaining age group (those aged under 30 year olds), if you're a carer, still to be vaccinated, you should follow the instructions to book a vaccine for your relevant age group. You can no longer book a vaccine through your local Trust.
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.
Pregnant or believe to be pregnant
If you are aged 30 years or over and pregnant or believe you could be pregnant, you cannot be vaccinated at a community pharmacy at this time. However you are able to get a vaccination, using the Pfizer vaccine at your local HSC Trust vaccination centre.
Speak to your GP, obstetric provider or midwife for advice about getting the COVID-19 vaccination.
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 is a free shuttle-bus service from the Northside car park, 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.
Follow the public health advice after being vaccinated
Two doses of the current approved vaccines have shown a high level of protection against serious illness from COVID-19, but no vaccine gives 100 per cent protection.
As the COVID-19 vaccines are new, research is ongoing to see what impact they have on reducing the spread of the disease and to examine the extent to which vaccinated people can still pass the infection on to others.
Therefore, after vaccination, you must continue to follow the public health advice and comply with restrictions. You still need to:
- practise social distancing
- wear a face covering
- wash your hands carefully and frequently
- comply with restrictions
Further information about the vaccine
The Public Health Agency has developed a range of leaflets and a frequently asked questions section: