The continued success of our Covid-19 vaccination programme will guide us to brighter days, the First Minister, deputy First Minister and Health Minister have said.
The Ministers were speaking during a visit to the vaccination centre at the Ulster Hospital in Dundonald today.
596,527 people have now been vaccinated. Both doses of the vaccine have now been administered across all care homes. Over 40% of our adult population in Northern Ireland have now received a vaccine.
First Minister Arlene Foster said: “I am delighted to see at first-hand the truly life-saving work of our vaccines programme, which is currently running every day of the week, right across Northern Ireland.
“We are now well through the Phase 3 stage with 641,121 vaccines administered and the programme is accelerating. Later this month we will see the opening of the mass testing facilities at the SSE Arena, along with the inclusion of over 350 local pharmacies as part of a planned expansion. This gives us all the much-needed confidence that brighter days are close at hand.
“It is an opportune time to say a heartfelt thank-you to all of those involved in the programme, the organisers, vaccinators and volunteers for their dedicated service. It is down to their hard work and expertise that this programme has significantly surpassed targets to protect our citizens.”
The deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill said: “The success of our vaccination programme has been nothing short of amazing. It is remarkable that more than 641,000 vaccines have been administered across the north in only three months since the programme commenced on 8 December.
“The Covid-19 vaccine is a precious resource that offers valuable protection to people across our community and will help to drive forward our recovery from the pandemic.
“We are immensely grateful to all those who have been involved in the planning and delivery of the programme and to all those who have come forward to be vaccinated. I would urge everyone to take up the vaccine when it is offered to you.”
Health Minister Robin Swann said: “Every week, tens of thousands of our citizens are stepping up to be vaccinated, helping to protect themselves and others. As we work through the priority groups, significantly ahead of schedule, some of the most vulnerable in our society have received the vaccine and I know how much joy and relief this has brought to so many.
“The delivery of the vaccination programme, across our Trusts and GP practices, has involved an enormous effort by dedicated professionals and volunteers who have made a vitally important contribution in the battle against the pandemic.
“As our vaccine supplies increase, we will see a major expansion of the programme in the coming weeks. Everyone has made huge sacrifices this past year and now everyone will have the opportunity to be vaccinated. Please don’t hesitate when your turn comes.”