| 11°C Belfast

Robin Swann hails 2 million vaccination milestone as Northern Ireland records another 261 Covid-19 cases

Close

Health Minister Robin Swann at the British Irish Council Summit at Lough Erne Resort, Co Fermanagh. Picture: Ronan McGrade/Pacemaker Press

Health Minister Robin Swann at the British Irish Council Summit at Lough Erne Resort, Co Fermanagh. Picture: Ronan McGrade/Pacemaker Press

Manvela Brando and Jose Lopes at the SSE vaccination centre

Manvela Brando and Jose Lopes at the SSE vaccination centre

Presseye/Philip Magowan

/

Health Minister Robin Swann at the British Irish Council Summit at Lough Erne Resort, Co Fermanagh. Picture: Ronan McGrade/Pacemaker Press

Northern Ireland is hailing a significant milestone on Sunday, as the number of Covid-19 vaccines administered passes the two million mark.

The Department of Health confirmed 80% of the adult population here have now received their first jab, while close to 60% are fully vaccinated with both doses.

The department also confirmed yesterday that another 261 positive cases of Covid-19 had been recorded in the previous 24 hour period.

No further deaths have been recorded by the department on Sunday, meaning the death toll here remains at 2,155.

Coronavirus Data Graphs

It comes as the SSE Arena in Belfast is operating a first-come first-serve walk-in vaccination centre on Sunday, for anyone over the age of 18 to receive their first dose without the need to book an appointment.

The landmark milestone has been welcomed by Health Minister Robin Swann, who hailed the work of healthcare staff.

“This has been achieved thanks to immense work across our health and social care system. I again pay tribute to everyone involved in our vaccination programme,” he said.

“I also pay tribute to the good sense of the people of Northern Ireland – coming forward in very large numbers to get protected from the virus.

“The drive continues to get as many people fully vaccinated as quickly as possible. My message to anyone holding back is simple – do it now. Vaccination protects you, it protects others and helps us get back to normality – to enjoying so many things that were not possible for much of the past 18 months.

“The Covid-19 threat is still very much with us, as evidenced by the spread of the Delta variant in recent weeks.

“Our vaccination centres across Northern Ireland are now offering Pfizer first doses to everyone aged 18 and over.

“Localised take-up initiatives will also be continuing, including pop-up, mobile and walk-in vaccination facilities.

“It is also vital that people get a second dose of whatever vaccine they had first. Full vaccination with both doses offers important protection against the Delta variant.”

The significant figure was also praised by the First and deputy First Ministers, with Paul Givan and Michelle O’Neill urging people to get both doses of the vaccine as soon as possible.

“I want to say thank you to all of the nurses, doctors and support staff who have been tireless in their efforts to protect the public and to ensure a return to all of those aspects of life we hold dear,” said Paul Givan.

“I also want to pay tribute to the amazing people of Northern Ireland. They have really supported the programme, with over 80% of the adult population receiving the protection of the first jab.

“I would encourage those who have not yet had a vaccine to get booked in or simply drop into the SSE Arena today.

“We all want to see a swift and safe removal of the last of our restrictions and get back those things we have missed - life events, sport and music and travel.”

Michelle O’Neill added: “This is a hugely positive day as we pass the incredible milestone of two million vaccines delivered across the north.

“It’s a credit to our amazing health workers who have delivered a strategic, professional and highly effective programme to ensure our people are protected. It has been a truly world-class effort and we are so grateful to them for all they have done.

“The whole community has felt the benefits of so many people taking up the vaccine as we have been able to enjoy more freedoms and spend more time with our family and friends. But it’s vitally important that we don’t take this success for granted. We have seen an increase in community transmission with the emergence of the Delta variant here, and we need to keep working hard to stop the virus from getting a grip.”

Anyone aged 18 and over can book their first Pfizer dose appointment at a vaccination centre at https://covid-19.hscni.net/get-vaccinated.

For those who cannot book online, appointments can also be made using the telephone service 0300 200 7813.


Top Videos



Privacy