Vaccination programme passes 90% landmark in Northern Ireland

The number of booster jabs given out has passed the 400,000 mark. Credit: PA

Nine out of 10 adults in Northern Ireland have now received at least one Covid-19 vaccination, the Department of Health has said.

In total, 3,068,005 jabs have been delivered since the vaccination programme began just under a year ago.

In addition, the number of booster jabs given out has passed the 400,000 mark.

Health Minister Robin Swann said: "A vaccination rollout of this magnitude would be impressive at any time.

"To achieve it during the worst crisis in our health service's history is nothing short of remarkable.

"Despite the grim pressures right across the health and social care system and the fact that staff are exhausted, all the stops are still being pulled out to deliver boosters as quickly as possible.

"I would encourage people to come forward for their boosters when they are eligible, and to be patient if it's not yet their turn."

The minister added: "I very much welcome the landmark of 90% for people 18 and over receiving at least one jab.

"It has been a long road, but maintaining our work to reach unvaccinated people has been crucially important.

Health Minister Robin Swann MLA. Credit: PA

"With trust hubs and community pharmacies continuing to offer first and second doses, we can push up the take-up rate even further.

"Given the continued high prevalence of Covid-19 in our community, it is essential that we maintain momentum in the booster and wider vaccination programme.

"This is the single best thing we can do to support our health service."

This weekend, 50 community pharmacies across Northern Ireland are hosting clinics to give the booster vaccination.

These will involve both walk-in clinics and vaccinations by appointment.

This will be in addition to the network of health trust hubs, trust walk-in clinics, pharmacies and GPs.

In line with current criteria, boosters are being offered to people aged 50 and over who had their second dose at least three months ago, and to 40 to 49-year-olds who had their second dose at least six months ago.

This weekend's pharmacy clinics will offer first and second doses as well as boosters.