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10,000 jabbed in a day as walk-in vaccine centres prove popular

The centres are operating in different locations across Ireland over the bank holiday weekend.

People queue outside a walk-in vaccination centre at the National Show Centre in Swords, Dublin this morning.
People queue outside a walk-in vaccination centre at the National Show Centre in Swords, Dublin this morning.
Image: Sam Boal/RN

MORE THAN 10,000 people got vaccinated at temporary walk-in centres across Ireland yesterday.

Dozens of centres have been operating across the country over the bank holiday weekend as the vaccination programme continues at a significant pace.

Long queues have been observed at many across the weekend, with many young people among those waiting in line for a first jab.

Twenty of the centres will be open through today and tomorrow.

HSE chief executive Paul Reid, who visited a centre in Athlone today, said the walk-in initiative would be used again, but not on such a widespread scale as the bank holiday weekend drive.

“Due to the success of it we are looking at how we will utilise it now going forward,” he told RTE.

“So we do expect to use it again in a very targeted and focused way not just generally walk-ins but very targeted, focused and promoted. So we do expect to use it again.”

embedded261345875 Source: PA

Saturday also saw Ireland mark a landmark in the vaccine rollout when the country overtook the UK in terms of percentage of adults fully vaccinated.

It represented a significant turnaround after the early stages of the vaccine programme were hit by delays associated with EU supply issues.

In the spring there was speculation the UK might even move to donate surplus vaccines to Ireland later in the year to help it address the shortfall in jabs.

Since then Ireland’s rollout has accelerated significantly.

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Yesterday, Taoiseach Micheal Martin said 72.4% of adults were fully vaccinated in Ireland, compared to 72.1% in the UK.

“A brilliant effort by everyone involved,” Martin tweeted.

Responding to images of queues at the walk-in centres on social media, Health Minster Stephen Donnelly tweeted: “Just fantastic to see this! We should all be so proud of our collective enthusiasm and buy-in to our national vaccine programme.”

Ireland also reached another less positive milestone on Saturday as the number of cases reported in the country since the pandemic began hit 300,000.

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