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Vice Chair of the Assembly's Health Committee Pam Cameron has welcomed confirmation that domicilary care workers and independent sector staff will receive the Covid-19 vaccine from today.

She also said it was important that all slots for vaccination are used to ensure maximum roll-out across the community.

The South Antrim MLA said, "Domiciliary care workers are an absolutely integral part of our Health and Social Care system. They provide an invaluable service to people right across the community and the news they will now start to receive Covid vaccination is very welcome.

Ensuring that the maximum number of our front-line staff have received their first dose of the vaccine as quickly as possible is the correct strategy to follow. Whilst we will all want to see the follow-up dose delivered as quickly as possible it is important that those such as domiciliary care staff are included within this first tranche.

I understand that reports of empty vaccination slots may not have painted a full picture in relation to the delivery of the vaccine. However, the reports highlight the concern shared across the whole community on the need for no opportunity to be wasted when it comes to delivering Covid vaccines. Our healthcare staff deserve nothing but the highest praise and given the pressure they currently face, all additional protection is vital.

If there are lessons we can learn from other parts of the UK or indeed from across the world then we need to be quickly adopting those practices here. Whether in terms of logistics or any other areas it is important that any limiting factor in the delivery of the vaccine programme is highlighted and if necessary a request made to the Executive or HM Government for that actional support."