Ulster GAA Secretary Brian McAvoy has urged young people to avail of the opportunity to receive the Covid-19 vaccine.
McAvoy made the comments ahead of the GAA club championship season which will be starting throughout the province in the coming weeks.
He said: “Young people have sacrificed much during the pandemic, but now the vaccine offers a route map towards a way of life that only 18 months ago we took for granted.
“The return of spectators to sporting events has had huge benefits to society and long may this continue. However, we want these games and sporting events to continue and as the inter-county season draws to a conclusion, the club championships will take centre stage in the GAA calendar.
“In recent weeks we have witnessed the postponement of games at numerous levels in the Association as Covid-19 case numbers rise, and it is incumbent on all of us to take whatever measures we can to reduce the risk of further spread of the virus and to protect our families and communities.
“The contagious ‘Delta’ variant has become the dominant form of coronavirus and more young people have become ill through this strain than had been the case with previous ones. “Worryingly, the vast majority of people hospitalised in recent weeks have not been vaccinated and this is putting additional pressure on an already over-burdened health service workers. The evidence therefore suggests that you are less likely to become seriously ill if you have been vaccinated.”
“I realise that it is an individual choice for each person but in choosing whether or not to take the vaccine, they should do so based on information available from reliable sources. For me the benefits are clear for all to see, both on and off the GAA fields.”
“Vaccinations are available at a range of facilities in both jurisdictions, including in some local pharmacies, and this weekend will see a concerted effort in the north to get more people vaccinated under the ‘Big Jab Weekend’ initiative.”