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Queues for walk-in vaccines as Ireland reaches 300,000 Covid cases

Dozens of centres are offering vaccinations without bookings over the bank holiday weekend.


The walk-in vaccine centre in City West, Dublin (Health Service Executive/PA)

The walk-in vaccine centre in City West, Dublin (Health Service Executive/PA)

The walk-in vaccine centre in City West, Dublin (Health Service Executive/PA)

Long queues formed at walk-in Covid-19 vaccination centres in Ireland on the day the country reached 300,000 cases of the virus since the pandemic began.

Dozens of centres are operating all over Ireland over the bank holiday weekend.

Lines of people were witnessed at many of the centres through Saturday as people took the opportunity to get jabbed.

The scenes came on the day Ireland marked a significant milestone in the pandemic.

The 1,427 new confirmed cases reported on by the National Public Health Emergency Team on Saturday took the total cases since the start of the pandemic to 300,000.

There were 164 Covid-19 patients in hospital on Saturday, 26 of whom were in ICU.

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Chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan said: “Today we have reached the milestone of 300,000 cases reported in Ireland since the beginning of the pandemic.

“However, today we have also seen how solidarity continues to be the hallmark of our response with young people across the country lining up to get vaccinated, both to protect themselves and to play their part in protecting the community.

“I strongly urge anyone eligible for a vaccine to come forward and avail of the opportunity as soon as possible.”

The walk-in centres run by the HSE are open to anyone aged 16 and over who has yet to receive a first dose.

Those attending will receive a Pfizer jab of the vaccine.

No appointment is necessary but people wishing to get vaccinated will need to produce photo ID and their Personal Public Service (PPS) number.

Chief executive of the HSE Paul Reid hailed the uptake.

He said 800 people were vaccinated at the City West in Dublin within 90 minutes of the centre opening on Saturday morning.

Mr Reid said Ireland was on the “final countdown” to protection from Covid-19.

“Walk in Vaccination Centres all across the country are off to a great start this weekend,” he tweeted.

“City West is flying it, with over 800 people vaccinated in the first 1.5 hours.

“Smaller centres equally reporting a good turnout. A great response by the Irish people.

“After just 7 months of the vaccination programme we’re on the final countdown to protect ourselves & to rebuild.”

Taoiseach Micheal Martin tweeted: “Great to see the walk-in #Covid19 vaccine clinics up and running – and the positive uptake already.”

Ireland’s vaccine programme has accelerated significantly in recent months with more than 5.8 million administered to date.

In excess of 86% of eligible people have received one dose with more than 71% fully vaccinated.

Health officials have said children aged 12-16 should be offered a vaccination in August.

Dr Holohan has said the “incredible uptake” is leading Ireland to a “turning point in the pandemic”.

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