The Commissioner for Older People, Eddie Lynch, said: “I very much welcome the timely rollout of the booster vaccine which will provide vital added protection to some of the most vulnerable people living in our society, this winter.

“COVID has impacted us all, but older people, and in particular, care home residents, have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, with deaths of care home residents accounting for almost a third[1] of all COVID related deaths.

“Thankfully, due to the success of the vaccination programme, we have seen a dramatic drop in the number of residents who are becoming seriously ill due to covid, but the rollout of the booster vaccine is vital to help to maintain that level of protection.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to remind those who have not yet received their vaccine to please avail of this without delay, to protect both yourself and others this winter.”

[1] Statistic taken from NISRA’s latest statistical bulletin on COVID 19 related deaths