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Health Minister welcomes further uptake of Covid booster and flu jab at Kingspan Stadium

Health Minister Robin Swann has hailed the “heroes” delivering vaccine jabs, providing vital protection against Covid and flu.

The Minister was at Kingspan Stadium today, the location for a combined Covid vaccine booster and flu jab clinic for patients of Castlereagh Medical Centre.

He said: “When the history of the Covid pandemic is told, all those who worked to protect us through vaccination will rightly be described as heroes.

“The Covid vaccination programme has already involved a colossal joint effort right across the health and social care system. The coming weeks will be very busy, with a significant escalation of the booster programme, along with the school-based programme and the ongoing provision of first and second doses.

“Each one of these jabs is important and will help support our health service through an extremely difficult winter period.”

The Minister also said: “I am delighted to see so many people getting their Covid booster and flu jabs today. It is great to see Ulster Rugby backing the vaccination effort in this way. It’s another example of the way our sporting organisations have actively supported both vaccination and wider public health messaging during the pandemic. Ulster Rugby, GAA and the IFA have all made important contributions.”

Dr Deirdre Savage, GP at Castlereagh Medical Centre, said:

“We are very grateful to Ulster Rugby for their support as we aim to vaccinate 2,500 patients over the next few weeks. The Covid booster and flu vaccines have a vital role to play in protecting people this winter. We would very much encourage patients who are eligible for both jabs to come forward when their turn comes. You don’t have to contact your GP – they will contact you.”

Ulster Rugby CEO Jonny Petrie said:

“We are delighted to once again support Castlereagh Medical Centre in their ongoing vaccination of the local community.

“Today exemplifies the efforts being made to protect our health service as we approach what is set to be a challenging winter.

“Thank you to all of the medical staff that organised and ran the activity today, and to Minister Swann for highlighting this through his visit. Days like today will allow us to continue to enjoy our sport together - whether that’s in the stands of Kingspan Stadium or at a local rugby club.”

Concluding, Minister Swann said: “I would appeal to everyone to get your booster if you are eligible. The significant benefits of vaccination are clear. It protects you and those close to you. Even though we have now introduced the booster dose for those vaccinated at the start of the programme, it isn’t too late for those who remain unvaccinated to get their jabs.”