Northern Ireland news

More than one million Covid-19 first dose vaccines administered in Northern Ireland

More than one million people in Northern Ireland have received a first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine - accounting for around 69 per cent of the adult population
Marie Louise McConville

More than one million people in Northern Ireland have received a first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine - accounting for around 69 per cent of the adult population.

Figures released today show that a total of 1,568,045 doses have been received.

Of these, 1,000,928 are first doses while 567,117 are second doses.

Health Minister Robin Swann praised the vaccination programme.

"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," he said.

"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".

First Minister Arlene Foster described the 1,000,928 first doses as a "hugely significant milestone in our fightback against Covid.

"The vaccination is not only a life-saver; it is key to unlocking more freedoms, opening up our economy, and allowing us to do the things we have missed so dearly," she said.

Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill said it was an "incredible day".

"The vaccine is vital in our defence against Covid-19 and I have no doubt that it has already saved many lives," she said.

"It also paves the way to brighter days for all," she said.

Sinn Féin assembly member Colm Gildernew said the vaccination programme "alongside an effective find, test, trace, isolate and support system, offers the best chance of moving though this pandemic".

The vaccine figures came as 104 new Covid-19 cases were recorded in Northern Ireland yesterday as well as two further deaths.

The latest Department of Health figures mean that since the start of the pandemic last March, 121,714 have had coronavirus while the deaths of 2,152 people have been linked to the virus.

Of the 104 new cases, the majority were in Mid Ulster, where there were 19 followed by Derry and Strabane, where there were 17 and Newry, Mourne and Down, where there were 13.

There were no new cases reported in Ards and North Down.

There are currently 38 Covid-positive patients in hospital.

Of these three are intensive care and all are ventilated.

Hospitals in general are operating at 102 per cent capacity with Antrim, Belfast City, Causeway, Daisy Hill, Royal Victoria, South West Acute and Ulster hospitals operating at over capacity.

Meanwhile, in the Republic, 358 new cases were reported.

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