The centres at the Foyle Arena in Derry and other venues across Northern Ireland have formed the backbone of the campaign against Covid-19.
The vaccination programme will continue, but there will be important changes.
Health Minister Robin Swann has said the closure of the centres for first jabs would allow staff to be redeployed back into the health service.
If you are due to get your second jab at one of the vaccination centres, you will still be able to do so as long as you received your first dose on, or before, today, Saturday, July 31.
The centres, which have been offering walk-in jabs as well as appointments include the Foyle Arena, Derry; SSE Arena in Belfast, Omagh Leisure Centre; Lakeland Forum, Fermanagh; South Lake Leisure Centre, Craigavon; Seven Towers Leisure Centre, Ballymena and the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast.
“The Foyle Arena and the leisure centres that we’ve been using can’t be commandeered for vaccination use forever,” Mr Swann added.
The minister said that GPs had been under intense pressure given the current levels of demand for care and that their role will now include “preparing for the vaccine booster dose and the flu vaccine programme after the summer”.
There will still be options available for people who change their minds and decide that they do wish to be vaccinated.
Chief medical officer Sir Michael McBride said now was the time to get the vaccine.
“We will be closing our vaccine centres for first doses. You can still get a vaccine, but it will be more difficult,” Sir Michael said.
Patricia Donnelly, head of the North’s vaccination programme, said uptake in the older age groups had been “exceptional”.
However, as of 30 July, 59% of under 30s had come forward.
In the North of Ireland as of yesterday, Friday, July 30, a total of 2,248,598 doses of the vaccine have been given; 1,212,236 of those are first doses, and 1,036,362 are second doses.
Department of Health figures show:
In the 18-29 age group, 59.98% have had a vaccine dose
in the 30-39 age group 70.62% have had a vaccine,
in the 40-49 age group 83.73% have had a jab
in the 50-59 age group 91.56% have had a dose
Uptake in all those in the over 60s, over 70s and over 80s age groups is said to be 100%.
Sir Michael McBride said people under 40 can now have a “major say on the future path” of the Covid pandemic.
“If they get the jab they will save lives, protect our health service and reclaim normality, while protecting themselves and others.
Sir Michael has also appealed for pregnant women to get the Covid vaccine.Tags: