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48% of Irish adults now fully vaccinated from Covid as 272,000 doses given this week

Over two-thirds of adults have had at least one dose.

NO REPRO FEE HSE weekly briefing 003 HSE CEO Paul Reif. Source: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

ALMOST HALF OF Irish adults are now fully vaccinated against Covid-19, HSE chief executive Paul Reid has said.

New figures released today show that 48% of adults, 1.8 million people, are fully vaccinated from Covid-19 while 68%, 2.56 million, have had at least one dose. 

It comes after the government announced a number of new measures aimed at boosting the vaccination rollout, in a race against the more transmissible Delta variant.

Reid said Ireland must plan for the Delta variant with “concern”, but with “a level of confidence also”.

Efforts to ramp up the vaccination programme are ongoing, amid the threat posed by the Delta variant and a recommendation from public health experts that indoor hospitality not return until a system can be set up allowing only vaccinated customers to enter.

As part of those efforts, Ireland on Friday agreed a deal in principle to purchase one million unwanted vaccines from Romania.

Taoiseach Micheal Martin spoke to Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, when a deal was agreed, however it is yet to be finalised.

It followed an earlier announcement that the rollout will be accelerated for people aged 18 to 34.

It follows updated advice from the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) that the AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson (also known as Janssen) vaccines can be given to people under 40.

People aged 18 to 34 can now “opt in” for one of those jabs, or choose to wait for mRNA vaccines as Pfizer or Moderna.

The opt-in system will run in parallel with the online registration portal, which will open for the 30 to 34-year-old age cohort next Friday.

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Health Minister Stephen Donnelly told the Dail that “a significant acceleration of the vaccine programme” will begin from Monday which will include 18-34 year olds being able to receive a J&J jab in pharmacies.  

Several pharmacists have reported feeling surprised and unprepared when their phones began ringing “constantly” after yesterday’s announcement.

- With reporting by Rónán Duffy

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