Vice Chair of the Assembly's Health Committee Pam Cameron has supported comments from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation that people who live with an immunosuppressed adult should be prioritised for their vaccine.
The DUP MLA said, "The NHS in England has accepted the JCVI recommendation and I hope this will also be rolled out in Northern Ireland. We have made fantastic progress with the vaccination programme and it is important those at most risk receive the greatest possible protection.
If you are living with someone who has a weakened immune system then there is obviously a greater risk of transmitting infections. Prioritising the vaccine for others in the household can minimise those risks. There are also some who are Clinically Extremely Vulnerable but who are unable to receive the vaccine due to medical conditions or allergies. This move would also have benefits for that group.
I know the Minister has been keen to follow the JCVI recommendations closely so I would hope we might be able to benefit from this soon. I would also query whether teachers should also now be prioritised, particularly any who do have to work with children who have specific health problems. As we are now working down through the age cohorts it should leave greater flexibility for such prioritisation to be implemented."