Covid-19 vaccine to be rolled out in Northern Ireland from December 14
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Covid-19 vaccine to be rolled out in Northern Ireland from December 14

NORTHERN IRELAND will officially be able to start vaccinating people for coronavirus from December 14.

On Wednesday morning, the British government officially confirmed that they had approved Pfizer-BioNTech's vaccine for use, and would be rolling it out as early as next week.

In doing so, they will become the first country in the world to administer the Covid-19 vaccine.

Speaking on RTE's Today With Claire Byrne this morning, Derry-based Dr Nicola Herron confirmed that Northern Ireland's health centres will be given vaccines from December 14.

"The information that we have is that the vaccines that are going to become available, there are 800,000 in the first batch, that will be rolled out pro-rota across the four regions [England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales]," Dr Herron explained.

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"We will get our share of those. This vaccine needs to be stored at -70 degrees. Obviously, transporting it out into nursing homes will be difficult.

"The first batch that is coming out is most likely to be distributed within health care settings such as hospitals where they have this facility," she added.

"The very, very first batch which is coming on December 14, will start to be rolled out to the healthcare workers."

Dr Herron added that anyone living south of the border who is registered with a doctor in the North will be able to get the vaccine.

She did however stress that vaccinating the elderly and the vulnerable will be top priority.

"If someone is registered with a GP in the North, they will get the vaccine in the same way as someone who is living in the North," Dr Herron confirmed.

"If you're registered in the North, you can avail of NHS treatments, including vaccines.

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"What you won't be able to do is register with a GP in the North if you're not residing here or working here."

Currently, Covid-19 vaccines aren't expected to become available in the Republic of Ireland until the start of the new year.