The six millionth dose of Covid-19 vaccine will be administered this week, the Minister for Health has said.
Stephen Donnelly described on Twitter as “amazing” the scenes of people “wanting their vaccines at the walk-in clinics this weekend. He said almost three in four adults were fully vaccinated.
Some 18,000 people availed of Covid-19 walk-in vaccination centres so far in an “inspiring weekend” for the programme, according to the Health Service Executive (HSE) chief .
Paul Reid said half of those attending were aged 16 and 17, with 64 per cent aged 19 or under.
On Monday morning hundreds of people turned up to get their vaccines at the Croke Park walk-in centre in Dublin, queueing for up to two hours to receive their inoculations. The latest figures as of Sunday show 5,871,111 vaccines have been administered in the State.
A further 1,352 Covid-19 cases were reported by the Department of Health on Monday with 177 patients in hospital, of whom 27 are in intensive care.
The HSE will consider using walk-in Covid-19 vaccination centres in future at targeted times, following the success of the initiative, Mr Reid told RTÉ Radio on Monday.
The HSE chief executive said 26 centres will be open on Monday but added the current walk-in facility was just for this weekend from Friday to Monday and will return to vaccination centre appointments for the rest of the week.
Mr Reid said it was part of a strategy to drive vaccine uptake that had seen 2.1 million vaccines given in a six-week period. In excess of 1.5 million of those were given out in July.
The walk-in centres run by the HSE are open to anyone aged 16 and over who has yet to receive a first dose. Those attending will receive a Pfizer dose of the vaccine. No appointment is necessary .
The registration portal for the State’s 280,000 12- to 15-year-olds is expected to open this week or early the following week, Mr Reid said. The Government is drawing up plans for an information campaign in the coming weeks to address any concerns that parents of children in this age group may have.
Mr Reid said the HSE is finalising the key issue of managing consent for vaccination of children aged 12-15.
He said the model for this cohort would see vaccines mainly given through GPs and pharmacies, with some at vaccination centres. The HSE was aiming to vaccinate the vast majority of that population in August with the second vaccination in September.
Mr Reid said he was still concerned at the rise in hospitalisations. He said some 22 per cent of those in ICU were vaccinated and 78 per cent unvaccinated. However, he said there was no major change in the age cohort with the majority of those in ICU being over 50, and the remaining four being between 19 and 30.
Around 73 per cent of adults in Ireland are now fully vaccinated, while 87 per cent have received a first dose. Almost 5.9 million jabs have been administered in total. There was also another Covid-19 milestone at the weekend as the number of cases reported in Ireland since the pandemic began passed 300,000.
Meanwhile, the State’s public health team is expected to provide fresh advice to Government on the potential further easing of remaining pandemic restrictions.
A senior source said the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) is watching closely what is happening in Britain, Israel and the European Union in terms of Covid-19 cases and mortality.
Factoring in the success of the vaccine programme in Ireland, Nphet has now committed to providing the Government with new advice on the easing of restrictions later this month.
Three meetings of the Cabinet Covid-19 committee have been scheduled throughout August to assess the impact of the Delta variant and consider new advice from Nphet.
Monday’s open walk-in vaccination clinics and times
- Carlow IT: 9.15am to 12.15pm and 1.15pm to 4.15pm
-Kilmore Hotel, Cavan : 8.30am to 12.30pm
-West County Hotel, Ennis: 1.30pm to 6pm
-Munster Technological University Campus, Cork: 10am to 4pm
- Carndonagh, Donegal: 9am to 12pm
- Aviva Stadium, Dublin: 8.30am to 6.30pm
-Croke Park: 8.30am to 12.30pm and 1.45pm to 7pm
-Galway Racecourse: 10am to 4pm
-Punchestown Racecourse: 9am to 12.15pm
-Cillin Hill Conference Centre, Kilkenny: 8.15am to 12.30pm
-Midlands Park Hotel, Portlaoise: 9am to 2pm
-Primary Care Unit, Carrick on Shannon: 10am to 4pm
-Limerick Racecourse: 8.30am to 12pm
-DIFE Drogheda: 9.15am to 12.15 pm and 1.15pm to 4.15pm
-Fairways Hotel, Dundalk: 9.15am to 12.15pm and 1.15pm to 4.15pm
-Breaffy House Resort, Castlebar: 12pm to 6pm
-Fairyhouse Racecourse: 9am to 12pm
-Simonstown GAA Club Navan: 8.30am to 12.30pm and 1.45pm to 4.15pm
-Glencarn Hotel, Castleblayney: 9am to 12.30pm
-Tullamore Court Hotel: 8am to 8pm
-Abbey Hotel, Roscommon: 11am to 4pm
-Sligo IT: 10am to 2pm
-Abbeycourt Hotel, Nenagh: 1.30pm to 6pm
-Waterford IT: 11.30am to 4.30pm
-Bloomfield House Hotel, Mullingar: 9am to 1pm
-Astro Active Centre, Enniscorthy: 8.15am to 12.30pm
-Shoreline Leisure Centre, Greystones: 8.30am to 12.30pm