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Ireland is speeding up its vaccination drive

Ireland overtakes UK in vaccine rollout

Ireland overtakes UK in vaccine rollout

With 72.4 percent of Irish adults fully vaccinated, over 16s queued at walk-in vaccination centres across the country to get their first shot

Last Saturday Ireland overtook its neighbour the United Kingdom in terms of vaccine rollout, with 72.4 percent of Irish adults fully vaccinated compared to 72.1 percent in the UK. "The vaccine rollout is continuing at great pace. Today we edged ahead of our nearest neighbours - a brilliant effort by everyone involved,“ tweeted the Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Micheál Martin.

Attendance at walk-in clinics “exceeding expectations”

Martin’s comments came as dozens of walk-in Covid-19 vaccination centres opened throughout Ireland for the bank holiday weekend. The temporary clinics have been set up to encourage further uptake of vaccines, especially among younger people aged 16 and over who have yet to receive a first dose. Close to 87 percent of the Irish adult population are partially vaccinated.

In stark contrast to the streets of Berlin, where thousands of Covid deniers clashed with police on Sunday, people in Ireland were queuing patiently to get their jab. According to Ireland Health Services (HSE) figures, 10,000 people visited the walk-in vaccination centres around the country on the first day of operation. Two-thirds of attendees were under the age of 19.   

The number of people who took advantage of the service "exceeded expectations", the Group Lead for Vaccination at the Dublin Midlands Hospital Group observed, as quoted by RTÉ. Access to the walk-in clinics was facilitated by the fact that people did not have to make a prior online appointment.

Mass vaccination centres will close before winter

The Chief Executive of the HSE Paul Reid said that due to the success of the walk-in clinics over the bank weekend holiday he expected them to be used again “in a targeted manner”. Regarding the future of mass vaccination centres, Reid said that with the onset of winter the 43 mass vaccination centres would probably cease operating, adding that HSE would adopt a different approach to vaccination, harnessing GPs and pharmacies.

Against the backdrop of ramped-up vaccine rollout, the Irish Department of Health confirmed 1,098 new cases of Covid-19 on Saturday. There were 163 patients in hospital, 26 of them being treated in ICU.

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