1m people vaccinated with first jab

Over a million people in Northern Ireland have now received their first COVID-19 vaccine dose.

The milestone has been reached some five months after the very first COVID-19 vaccine jab was administered in NI. It means that almost 70% of the adult population has now received their first dose.

It also comes just days after another landmark was achieved – with more than half a million already getting their second jab.

Health Minister Robin Swann today welcomed the one million figure being passed.

“I cannot praise our vaccination programme too highly. It is a massive logistical undertaking and I have seen up close the dedication and the long hours that have been invested in making it work.

“Vaccination saves lives. It is vital to our hopes of a better summer and of continuing progress against the virus. It has been central to the progress we have made.

“I would again urge everyone to get their first and second jabs when their turn comes. I am certainly looking forward to getting my second AstraZeneca jab in the coming weeks.”

The head of the vaccination programme, Patricia Donnelly, said: “We are determined to maintain momentum and will keep vaccinating people as quickly as supplies allow.

“As we have stated, supplies are limited at present, but we expect that to improve in June. I would once again ask people waiting their turn to be patient. Keep checking the online booking portal as new appointment slots are being opened up on a regular basis.”