‘Do not make a wasted journey’: Ineligible urged not to travel for vaccine in North

Official warns people in Republic only those registered with northern GP will be accepted

The head of Northern Ireland's Covid-19 vaccination programme has warned people from the Republic of Ireland who try to book a jab in the North that they will not be vaccinated if they are not eligible.

Patricia Donnelly said on Tuesday that "increasing numbers" of ineligible people, including some from the South, were trying to book appointments at the North's vaccination centres.

“Only those who meet the criteria will be vaccinated,” she said. “If you turn up and are not eligible you will be turned away and you will have wasted staff time in the process.”

To be eligible for vaccination in Northern Ireland people must have a Northern Ireland health care number and be registered with a GP in the North. Individuals must also produce photographic ID, and be in one of the groups which have been called forward for vaccination.


“Check before you book,” said Ms Donnelly. “Do not make a wasted journey. You will not be vaccinated unless you are eligible, so do not waste your time and the precious time of centre staff.”

The deaths of two more people with Covid-19 were recorded by the North's Department of Health on Tuesday, bringing the total number of deaths to 2,107. A further 174 people tested positive for the virus.

In the North’s hospitals 159 patients with Covid-19 are receiving treatment, with 14 in intensive care.

As of Tuesday more than 776,000 doses of the coronavirus vaccine have so far been administered in the North, which includes more than 687,000 first doses.

On Tuesday the booking service opened for vaccination at the North's first mass vaccination site, the SSE Arena in Belfast, which is due to open on March 29th.

A minimum of 4,000 people per day can be vaccinated at the arena.

Community pharmacies are also due to join the North’s vaccination programme next week.

Freya McClements

Freya McClements

Freya McClements is Northern Editor of The Irish Times