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Over 90,000 vaccine doses delivered in Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland started its vaccine rollout last month.

Image: Shutterstock/Willy Barton

NORTHERN IRELAND HAS administered over 90,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccines since the first batch of vaccines was received in the North at the start of December.

91,954 doses have been given to date, including first and second doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.

A first dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine has been delivered to 68,664 people, with a focus on healthcare staff and care home staff and residents.

13,949 people have received a second dose, particularly in care homes.

The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine has been given by GPs to 9,341 people in Northern Ireland.

Northern Ireland received its first batch of a Covid-19 vaccine on 4 December and delivered the first vaccine four days later.

Joanna Sloan, a nurse from Dundrum, became the first recipient of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine in Northern Ireland when she was given her first dose on 8 December.

In a statement, Northern Ireland’s Department of Health said that the vaccination programme is a “massive and long-term logistal undertaking that is progressing well”.

“Our record to date compares very favourably with many of our European neighbours,” the department said.

Health trusts in Northern Ireland are operating seven regional vaccination centres to vaccinate health and social care staff and care homes, while GPs have received their first supplies to begin vaccinating the general public.

“From today, domiciliary care workers from the independent sector can receive the Covid-19 vaccine at the vaccination centres. The phased programme will see dental, pharmacy and optometry teams being given access to the booking system shortly.” 

The Department of Health said there had been “some misunderstanding about ‘empty slots’ in the booking schedule for these vaccination centres”.

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“These slots are only released shortly before they are available in order to be able to manage the inclusion of different staff groups on a phased basis and also to ensure there is adequate vaccine to cover all the slots,” the department said.

“Slots can be filled at short notice if required. There is no doubt that demand remains strong for the vaccine and this will continue to be met in a planned and phased manner,” it said.

“It is a constant process to manage the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, which comes in large batches, in order to avoid unnecessary waste of this valuable product.

“It is normal to move sessions around to maximise the use of the vaccine – so staff will usually be contacted to confirm their sessions. Flexibility is essential.”

Earlier today, Northern Ireland confirmed a further 16 deaths and 759 cases of Covid-19 in its daily update.

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