Ireland to reach half a million vaccinations this weekend

The first Covid-19 vaccine was administered in the Republic on December 29th, © PA Media
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By Rebecca Black, PA

Ireland is expected to reach the milestone of half a million Covid-19 jabs administered this weekend.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin hailed the progress made in the pandemic.

Speaking in a video posted on Twitter, Mr Martin said he was inspired by recent visits to vaccination centres where thousands of frontline healthcare workers are receiving the inoculation.

The Government and the HSE were doing everything they could to secure supplies and to give those vaccines to people as quickly as possible, Mr Martin added.

“Over the coming days we will have administered half a million doses since the first vaccination was given to Dubliner Annie Lynch 63 days ago,” he said.

“Next week we will begin to vaccinate those with underlying health conditions as well as continuing to vaccinate the over-70s and healthcare workers.”


Annie Lynch (centre right), 79, is the first person to receive a coronavirus vaccine in Ireland (Marc O’Sullivan/PA)

The Taoiseach said that the vaccines administered are reducing the impact of the virus.

“This can be seen in the reduced levels of infection in our nursing homes and amongst our frontline healthcare workers,” he said.

“This brings hope, along with the continued fall in Covid numbers thanks to the sacrifices you have been making.

“The 14-day incidence level fell below 200 this week for the first time since Christmas.

“While our health services are still under pressure, the number of patients in our hospitals and ICUs is reducing significantly.”


However, Mr Martin added a note of caution, warning that variants of the virus mean people should not relax around restrictions.

On Saturday the number of patients with Covid-19 in intensive care dropped to 99, with the total number of cases in hospital at 401.

Paul Reid, chief executive of the HSE, described it as a “great sign”.

On Friday, one further death with the virus and 522 new cases were notified in the Republic of Ireland.

Gardai talk to protesters during an anti-lockdown protest in Dublin city centre (Damian Eagers/PA)

Meanwhile, protesters calling for an end of lockdown restrictions are set to gather in Cork city centre later.

It follows a demonstration in Dublin last weekend which saw chaotic scenes in the capital, 23 arrests and three Garda officers left injured.

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