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Increasing number of 'ineligible' people from South trying to book vaccine slots in Northern Ireland

To avail of a vaccine in Northern Ireland people must be registered with a GP in the North and have a NI healthcare number.

File image: Northern Ireland's vaccine programme head Patricia Donnelly during a Department of Health media briefing.
File image: Northern Ireland's vaccine programme head Patricia Donnelly during a Department of Health media briefing.
Image: PA

THERE ARE INCREASING numbers of ineligible people, including people from the Republic, trying to book Covid-19 vaccine appointments in Northern Ireland, the head of the region’s vaccination programme has said.

Patricia Donnelly warned that people who do not fit the criteria will be turned away, as she urged those who are eligible to book their slot. 

To avail of a vaccine in Northern Ireland people must be registered with a GP in the North and have a NI healthcare number.

“We are seeing increasing numbers of ineligible people, including people from the ROI, trying to book an appointment at one of our vaccination centres,” Donnelly said in a statement announcing that the SSE Arena in Belfast is now taking bookings ahead of its opening on 29 March.

“Today we see another significant step forward in the Northern Ireland vaccination programme. The SSE Arena will enable us to vaccinate a minimum of 4,000 per day building up to 8,000 and I urge anyone who is eligible to book their slot.”

Only those who meet the criteria will be vaccinated. If you turn up and are not eligible you will be turned away and you will have wasted staff time in the process. Check before you book. Do not make a wasted journey. You will not be vaccinated unless you are eligible. Do not waste your time and the precious time of centre staff.

As of yesterday evening, 776,211 vaccines had been administered in the region – 687,528 first doses and 88,683 second doses.

In the Republic, 675,946 vaccine doses have been administered as of 20 March – 492,106 people have received their first dose and 183,840 their second dose. 

The deaths of a further two patients who had previously tested positive for Covid-19 were reported by the Department of Health today, taking the toll recorded by the department in the North to 2,107.

Another 174 confirmed cases of the virus were also reported, while there were 159 Covid-positive confirmed inpatients in hospital, of whom 14 were in ICUs.

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