Bradshaw welcomes steps to maximise vaccination roll-out among younger people

Alliance Health spokesperson Paula Bradshaw MLA has welcomed the assurance Pfizer and Moderna vaccine supplies will suffice to complete the vaccination programme among younger adults.

Ms Bradshaw was speaking after the JCVI said under-40s were to be offered the Pfizer jab as an alternative to AstraZeneca vaccine. People who have already received their first jab of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine will get their second jab with the same vaccine.

“It is welcome the vaccination programme has already come so far we are considering which steps we need to take to ensure its completion imminently among younger age groups,” said the South Belfast MLA.

“I would reinforce the view COVID is not something you want to risk contracting, even if your risk of serious illness seems fairly low. There is no question all the approved vaccines have proven effective, with deaths now running in the low single figures per week as a result. I myself took the AstraZeneca vaccine, which has been an essential part of the mix.

“I would urge the public to come forward to get their vaccine and to continue to co-operate with contact tracers – that way we can get infection levels low and keep them there in such a way as to minimise risk from any variants, and thus maintain and continue the easing of restrictions on social and economic life.

“It is right, nevertheless, we reinforce we have enough supplies of Pfizer and Moderna across the UK to complete the programme here. Attention is rightly then turning to the rest of the world. I will be bringing forward a motion to the Assembly for a greater push for the roll-out of vaccines across the world, and AstraZeneca as a not-for-profit vaccine will be an essential part of that process. By definition, this is a global pandemic and it will not be over until we have global vaccination. We can all play our part in that.”