Health minister expresses thanks to vaccinators

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Mass vaccination centres here have now closed

Q Radio News/PA

Northern Ireland’s health minister has expressed his thanks to staff who delivered the region’s Covid-19 vaccination programme.

Robin Swann was speaking as mass vaccination centres close their doors.

The first jab was delivered in Northern Ireland on December 8, 2020.

As of Sunday, some 2,492,097 jabs had been administered, and almost 88% of adults have received one dose and around 82% have been fully vaccinated.

Mr Swann paid tribute to staff for “adapting quickly to change and reorganise at pace to deliver the vaccine to as many people as possible, as quickly as possible”.

The SSE Arena in Belfast and a number of leisure facilities were among the seven venues transformed into mass vaccine centres where 1.5 million doses were delivered. 

“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,” he said.

Health minister Robin Swann 

Further vaccination clinics are planned, including at the Balmoral Show later this month.

Mr Swann has urged those not yet vaccinated to come forward.

“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,” he said.

“From Monday, 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.”

Mr Swann added: “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.”

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