The life and death decision of choosing who to vaccinate

In Northern Ireland, vaccine shortages have forced GPs to choose between inoculating the most vulnerable in society or the most important in fighting back against the virus, writes Olivia Fletcher

Monday 08 February 2021 21:30 GMT
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<p>Joanna Sloan became the first person in Northern Ireland to receive the first dose of the vaccine on 8 December</p>

Joanna Sloan became the first person in Northern Ireland to receive the first dose of the vaccine on 8 December

On 2 December, Dr Alan Stout had to make the biggest decision of his 20-year career as a doctor: choosing who should get their Covid-19 vaccinations in Northern Ireland.

The Belfast GP, who had been given the near-impossible job of leading a team to negotiate the terms of a rollout plan for Northern Ireland with its Department of Health, had been told how many doses of the Pfizer vaccine he had been allocated to treat 195,000 people in the first phase of the plan.

It was just 80,000.

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