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More than half a million people in NI have now received first dose of Covid-19 vaccine

The drive to administer first and second doses of vaccines across the North’s care homes has been completed.

A nurse practitioner fills a needle with the Covid-19 vaccine before administering it to Joanna Sloan
A nurse practitioner fills a needle with the Covid-19 vaccine before administering it to Joanna Sloan
Image: PA

MORE THAN HALF a million people in Northern Ireland have now received their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine. 

In an update today, the Northern Ireland Department of Health confirmed that, as of yesterday, a total of 537,086 vaccine doses have been administered. A total of 505,188 first doses and 31,898 second doses have been administered.

The figures come as Health Minister Robin Swann confirmed today that the drive to administer first and second doses of Covid-19 vaccines across all of Northern Ireland’s care homes has been completed. 

The Minister, however, warned that measures to protect care home residents and staff from Covid-19 will not be relaxed at this stage. 

These measures include strict infection prevention and control practices, maintenance of social distancing, use of PPE and a programme of regular asymptomatic testing. 

An epidemiology study is now commencing which will examine the impact of vaccination of care homes in the North. 

“Vaccination will provide vital protection to our care home residents. It will save lives and reduce serious illness,” Swann said today.

“My heartfelt thanks go all those involved in delivering the vaccination programme across our care homes. I very much welcome the fact that this aspect of our vaccination programme is completed,” he said.

“We will need to maintain a precautionary approach, particularly given the prevalence of the virus in the wider community and the fact that vaccination of the overall population remains at a relatively early stage.”

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

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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.

It was confirmed earlier today that a further two people have died in Northern Ireland after testing positive for Covid-19. 

Another 241 individuals have tested positive for the virus, according to the Department of Health.

As of this morning, there were 335 Covid-positive patients in hospital, of whom 36 were in intensive care.

With reporting by Press Association

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