Minister needs to move on latest information re “boosters” – Bradshaw

Alliance Health Spokesperson Paula Bradshaw has said the Health Minister needs to move on the latest information concerning third dose “booster” vaccinations, saying that operating off ten-week-old guidance is not sufficient.

The South Belfast MLA stated: “We are told that we are following the latest scientific evidence, but the Minister has stated that he is following guidance which is already ten weeks old, from 14 September – essentially based on the situation of late summer rather than early winter.

“The fact is that it is increasingly apparent that a full six-week gap between the second dose and the “booster” third dose is not strictly necessary, and that the faster we offer that third dose the widest possible number of people the better.

“The fact that Northern Ireland has the highest incidence of cases in the UK only means that Northern Ireland needs to move faster to get people vaccinated, not just wait for particular guidance.

“In the run-up to people congregating over Christmas – in settings where the virus can easily spread – I would urge, at the very least, that GPs and pharmacies be asked to be reasonably flexible on the six-month gap and enable as many people as possible to come forward and get that extra vital dose. At a time when hospitals are already over capacity, the third dose is the main protection we have.”