MOBILE vaccination centres will offer students at Northern Ireland’s six further education colleges the chance to take up the Covid-19 jab.
It comes as part of a drive to encourage more young people to get vaccinated amid the ongoing pandemic.
Scores of young people also came forward across the weekend to one of Belfast best known-music venues, The Limelight.
Just over 70 per cent of young people in Northern Ireland have been vaccinated compared to the rate of more than 90 per cent across the whole population.
From today, further education leaders are urging students at six colleges to come forward for the jab at 60 mobile vaccination centres on across 30 further education and university campus sites.
The pop-up clinics are also open for anyone aged 16 and above who are not enrolled at their local further education college but would like to avail of the jab.
Leo Murphy, principal and chief executive of North West Regional College, welcomed the initiative.
“It is fantastic to welcome the pop-up vaccination clinics to our college campuses and bring the vaccine right to our students, giving them convenient access to this service as they attend their lectures, seminars and classes,” he said.
Karen Moore, lead of the Covid Champions Group for the six further education colleges said they have been working with the Public Health Agency and health trusts to secure the best access for students to the vaccine.
She said “significant work” has been undertaken across the college estates to ensure the safe return to campus, as well as work with the student population to remind that face masks and social distancing are still required on college grounds.
“We have been working in partnership with the PHA and local health trusts to ensure students have the best access to the vaccine and the Jabathon, with over 20 further education sites available, means students will not have far to go to get jabbed as the new academic year begins,” she said.
Over the weekend, queues of people formed at The Limelight on Ormeau Avenue for their jab as part of the vaccination programme by a Belfast Trust vaccinator team.
Chief medical officer Sir Michael McBride visited the popular music venue on Saturday and said “it’s about bringing the vaccine to people and that’s what we’ve been doing with our mobile clinics and this is just a further example of that”.
Around 400 people jabbed at The Limelight received a free ticket to a gig at Ormeau Park on Friday, which will help promote awareness of vaccination. It is also an acknowledgement of the impact of the pandemic on younger people.