Robin Swann appeals to young people to get Covid jabs as soon as possible
YOUNG people must get vaccinated against Covid as soon as possible, the health minister has warned.
In an open letter, Robin Swann urged young people to get their jab amid the ongoing Covid surge.
"We can repel it much more effectively if we get more people double jabbed," he said.
Mr Swann thanked the public for the "immeasurable sacrifices and the selflessness" they have shown in the fight against Covid.
He said it was vital that people who have not yet had a vaccination get one as soon as possible.
Walk-in slots are available at major vaccination centres including the SSE Arena in Belfast and Foyle Arena in Derry.
Mobile vaccination teams are also operating in several areas over the coming week including at Laganvalley Leisureplex in Lisburn today and tomorrow and Markethill livestock mart in Co Armagh today.
"Vaccination saves lives and reduces serious illness," Mr Swann said.
He added: "It also helps us reclaim our lives - all those things we have missed so much like going out, meeting up, enjoying ourselves with family and friends.
"Being fully vaccinated opens doors to normality.
"We see that with vaccine verification for holidays abroad."
He appealed to young people to get the vaccine "for your own sake and for your parents and grandparents".
"You might well be in a low risk group for Covid but you can't be certain," he said.
"Even if you are, you could still spread infection to someone who is vulnerable.
"You could still get long Covid, with all the harm that could do to your physical and mental health.
"We have worked so hard as a society to keep each other safe in this pandemic.
"Please keep playing your part – by getting jabbed and encouraging others to do the same."