Men older than 50 who want to see next Christmas must be extra vigilant, a senior doctor has warned.
It comes as coronavirus continues to prominently affect this section of the population.
The warning was made by Dr Wendy Anderson, a respiratory consultant at the Northern Health Trust.
The Department of Health (DoH) said it was aware of concerns and was assessing the situation, "with a view to updating guidance and messaging if required".
However, in a statement it added that Covid-19 was a threat to "many different age groups and sections of society".
Speaking to BBC News NI, Dr Anderson said many of those she saw in hospital beds and struggling to breathe were men above the age of 50.
She said she decided to make the appeal after losing too many patients and friends to the virus.
While some tend to be overweight, not all of them are, and some have been fit and healthy.
"They are dependent on a ventilator to breathe and they could be there for weeks, men of this age are twice as likely to die than women from the virus," said Dr Anderson. Read more >>