Some of Northern Ireland’s mass vaccination centres are to be “scaled back” in an attempt to shift resources to local and mobile clinics.
The Department of Health urged people to take up the offer of a Covid-19 booster at one of the Trust vaccination centres as they said the “next phase” of the booster roll-out is underway.
While some locations will be closed down with reduced opening hours and days of operation, officials said evidence has shown mobile clinics are “very effective” at reaching people.
The latest department vaccination figures show over 3.5million vaccinations have been administered to date, of which 1.4m were first dose and 1.5m the second.
Over 850,000 booster vaccinations have also been administered.
The head of Northern Ireland’s vaccination programme Patricia Donnelly said: ““The Trust vaccination centres are very convenient for many people and are generally open seven days a week for most of the day.
“They have played an absolutely vital role in getting jabs in arms. They work best as high volume hubs, when demand is at its peak.
“If these big centres suit you best, now is the best time to go - either for a walk-in jab or by making an appointment.
“The centres still have a role, but it will be scaled back in a number of locations, as we spread capacity out more widely across Northern Ireland. That will include reduced opening hours and days of operation in some of the big centres.”
She added: “Experience tells us that localised clinics are very effective at reaching people who do not come forward straightaway.
“Trusts are therefore starting to shift resources towards local and mobile clinics. These will include locations where take-up for boosters has been lower, and also in high footfall settings such as shopping centres.
“While there will be more clinics, they will generally only be available at a particular location for a limited period of time.
“Localised clinics are also very important in reaching people with accessibility issues and helping to provide equal access to boosters.
“If you want to get your booster at a big centre which currently has plenty of available capacity, don’t delay any further.”
To get instant information on Trust and pharmacy vaccination clinics closest to you, type in your postcode or town at this online location search https://vaccinations.covid-19.hscni.net/location-search.