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Over one million people have received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine in NI. The vaccination of more than one million people here is momentous for our whole society, the First Minister and deputy First Minister have said. 1,000,928 people have now received at least one dose.

First Minister Arlene Foster said: “Today is a hugely significant milestone in our fightback against Covid. The vaccination is not only a life-saver; it is key to unlocking more freedoms, opening up our economy, and allowing us to do the things we have missed so dearly.

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

“Over the last year, our society has faced a challenge unlike any other, and these have been the most difficult of times for everyone. I am so proud of how far we have come, together. Today, in marking one million people vaccinated, we can all look forward to a better future.

“Administering these vaccines involves a huge logistical effort, and I want to once again thank all those involved in the programme.”

Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill said: “This is an incredible day as we pass the landmark of one million people vaccinated across the north. It is remarkable to reflect on how far we’ve come in just over five months since our vaccination programme began.

“The vaccine is vital in our defence against Covid-19 and I have no doubt that it has already saved many lives. It also paves the way to brighter days for all. Today we can all take heart from this phenomenal success story and look forward to rebuilding our society for the good of everyone.

“I offer my thanks to all those who have come forward to take up the vaccine, and encourage others to do the same. And I commend all those across health and social care who have played in a part in getting us to this point.”

Massive Undertaking

Health Minister Robin Swann has also 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.”

People aged 40 or over can book their AstraZeneca first doses at the Vaccination Centre at the SSE Arena and at more than 300 participating pharmacies across Northern Ireland.

People aged 30-39 can book their Pfizer first dose at Trust vaccination centres across Northern Ireland. These are: Foyle Arena/ Omagh Leisure Centre/ Lakeland Forum/ South Lake Craigavon/ Seven Towers Ballymena/ RVH in Belfast.

Anyone of any age who has received an AstraZeneca first dose should proceed with their second dose of AstraZeneca. That’s unless they have had clinical advice not to do so. Second doses provide longer and stronger protection against the virus.

The age categorisation for AstraZeneca first doses recommended by the JCVI (Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation) does not apply to second doses. The JCVI has stressed that the second dose is important for longer lasting protection against COVID-19

People aged under 40 will still be able to make an informed choice to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine.

* If possible, booking should be done online at:  WWW.NIDIRECT.GOV.UK/COVIDVACCINE

However, where online booking is not possible, the telephone booking number is 0300 200 7813.

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