Health Minister Robin Swann has thanked staff who have worked tirelessly to deliver the Northern Ireland vaccination programme.
This comes as mass vaccination centres across Northern Ireland begin to close their doors.
The Minister said: “From the outset of the COVID-19 vaccination programme staff adapted quickly to change and reorganised at pace to deliver the vaccine to as many people as possible, as quickly as possible.
“We saw leisure and concert facilities converted to mass vaccination centres and there has been a monumental effort by health staff, students and volunteers who adapted at pace to deliver. I commend each and every one for their involvement.”
The first COVID-19 vaccine was delivered in Northern Ireland on 8 December 2020 and since then nearly 2.5 million doses have been delivered with nearly 88% of adults having received one dose and around 82% have been fully vaccinated. During the course of the vaccination programme Northern Ireland’s health Trusts operated seven main vaccination centres, which administered more than 1.5m doses between them.
Further initiatives are also planned in a number of targeted spheres including walk-in clinics at the Balmoral Show and the provision of vaccination through the Farm Families Health Checks Programme.
The Minister continued: “Some mobile clinics will of course continue for a limited time and I would strongly encourage those who remain unvaccinated to seize this opportunity and take up the offer of vaccination. From tomorrow, we will be taking the Jabbathon to the thousands of higher and further education students beginning or returning to their courses in an attempt to make receiving the vaccine as easy as possible. Every vaccine given helps to protect that individual, those they come in contact with and will help ensure our health service can better cope with the forthcoming winter pressures.
“This focused delivery will strengthen what is already on offer at the 350 pharmacies offering the AstraZenica vaccine to the over 40s and the 54 pharmacies offering the Moderna vaccine for all ages. Many more pharmacies will be offering Moderna vaccine later in September.”
In conclusion the Minister said: “Vaccination and the public health advice – hands, face, space – remain our best weapons and defence against COVID-19. We all must continue to do what we can to protect ourselves, protect our families and protect others.”