The million milestone - Almost 70% of adults in NI have now received first COVID jab

A million first doses of COVID vaccines have now been administered across the north of Ireland, the Department of health confirmed today.

Tuesday, 18th May 2021, 2:59 pm

The major milestone comes just five months after the first dose was administered.

This means that almost 70% of the adult population has now received their first dose.

It also comes just days after another landmark was achieved – with more than half a million already getting their second jab.

Mayor Brian Tierney pictured previously at the Covid -19 vaccination centre in the Foyle Arena with Western Health and Social Care Trust staff who are delivering the vaccine programme. Included were Dr. Alan McKinney who is one of the retired doctors to help during the pandemic, Anne McConnell, HR Director WHSCT and School nurse Geraldine Mulholland.  Picture Martin McKeown.
Mayor Brian Tierney pictured previously at the Covid -19 vaccination centre in the Foyle Arena with Western Health and Social Care Trust staff who are delivering the vaccine programme. Included were Dr. Alan McKinney who is one of the retired doctors to help during the pandemic, Anne McConnell, HR Director WHSCT and School nurse Geraldine Mulholland. Picture Martin McKeown.

The latest vaccine figures are available on the Northern Ireland Covid-19 Vaccinations Dashboard covid-19.hscni.net/Health Minister Robin Swann today welcomed the one million figure being passed. “I cannot praise our vaccination programme too highly. It is a massive logistical undertaking and I have seen up close the dedication and the long hours that have been invested in making it work.

“Vaccination saves lives. It is vital to our hopes of a better summer and of continuing progress against the virus. It has been central to the progress we have made.

“I would again urge everyone to get their first and second jabs when their turn comes. I am certainly looking forward to getting my second AstraZeneca jab in the coming weeks.”

The head of the vaccination programme, Patricia Donnelly, said: “We are determined to maintain momentum and will keep vaccinating people as quickly as supplies allow.

“As we have stated, supplies are limited at present, but we expect that to improve in June. I would once again ask people waiting their turn to be patient. Keep checking the online booking portal as new appointment slots are being opened up on a regular basis.”

People aged 40 or over can book their AstraZeneca first doses at the Vaccination Centre at the SSE Arena and at more than 300 participating pharmacies across Northern Ireland.

People aged 30-39 can book their Pfizer first dose at Trust vaccination centres across Northern Ireland. These are: Foyle Arena/ Omagh Leisure Centre/ Lakeland Forum/ South Lake Craigavon/ Seven Towers Ballymena/ RVH in Belfast.

Anyone of any age who has received an AstraZeneca first dose should proceed with their second dose of AstraZeneca. That’s unless they have had clinical advice not to do so. Second doses provide longer and stronger protection against the virus.

The age categorisation for AstraZeneca first doses recommended by the JCVI (Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation) does not apply to second doses. The JCVI has stressed that the second dose is important for longer lasting protection against COVID-19

People aged under 40 will still be able to make an informed choice to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine.

If possible, booking should be done online at: www.nidirect.gov.uk/covidvaccineHowever, where online booking is not possible, the telephone booking number is 0300 200 7813.