Northern Ireland may need to re-introduce mass walk-in vaccination centres to speed up the delivery of the Covid booster jab, MLAs have been told.

Colm Gildernew, chair of the Stormont health committee, said that GP practices are "ill-prepared" to hand out the jabs because of the pressure they are under.

He urged Health Minister Robin Swann to find solutions and indicated now may be the time to call an emergency health summit to discuss the vaccination rollout and pressures on the healthcare system.

Northern Ireland has the lowest rollout rate of the Covid booster jab in the UK.

The jab is available for those over the age of 50, to be administered no earlier than six months after they have received their second jab.

In an Assembly statement, Mr Gildernew said he had been contacted by various worried patients "who should have received their booster vaccine weeks ago".

He added: "We have been told that booster vaccines will be given at GP practices, but GP practices are ill-prepared to provide these services given the pressures they are currently experiencing.

"There is also confusion around where first, second and third Covid vaccines will be administered.

"It is vitally important that we get this right as we still need to encourage uptake of the vaccine given that our numbers are extremely low here compared to other regions."

The Sinn Féin MLA also referred to pressures facing hospital emergency departments.

He said: "This past weekend we have heard of a worsening crisis across various health trust areas with some patients even being cautioned not to present unless faced with a life-threatening situation.

"The warnings given were stark and alarming and all of us can imagine the stress and fear this crisis will be causing.

"The staffing crisis all over the health and social care system is causing havoc and we are hearing this in these stark statements from various trusts.

"The GPs crisis continues, with patients still unable to see their GPs. We are also hearing of further reductions in GP out of hours services in some areas.

"Emergency rooms are filled to capacity and there are times there are no hospital beds for patients who need them."

The health minister has previously told the Assembly that there is no shortage of booster vaccines in Northern Ireland and that GP practices and 220 community pharmacies would be involved in the rollout of the jab.

The Department of Health in Northern Ireland has reported 948 further cases of Covid-19 and ten deaths in the past 24 hours.

To date 2,663,473 vaccinations have been administered in the North.