The COVID-19 vaccination programme will therefore commence in Northern Ireland on 18 September 2023 to ensure that those most at risk from winter
illness i.e. people in care homes, the clinically vulnerable, everyone aged 65 and over, frontline health and social care staff, and carers, will be able to access
a COVID-19 vaccine. The annual influenza vaccine will also be made available to these groups to ensure they are protected against flu ahead of winter.
To optimise protection over the winter months, JCVI had recommended that the COVID-19 booster programme should be completed by early December 2023, however based on the latest UKHSA advice we are seeking to have as many people as possible vaccinated by 31st October 2023. We fully appreciate that this is a big ask given the ongoing pressures on the wider health service but an accelerated payment, in addition to an Item of Service fee, will be available to GPs and community pharmacies to help try and achieve this goal.