The Department of Health has published its latest detailed breakdown of Northern Ireland’s vaccination numbers.

The programme continues to make excellent progress, with the addition of a number of new cohorts in recent weeks.

Patricia Donnelly, head of NI’s vaccination programme, said: “We are significantly ahead of our original schedule and our Trust vaccination centres are now offering slots to 60 to 64 year olds and it’s important that anyone who’s eligible gets online to book an appointment without delay.

“We are also continuing to vaccinate people who are the main carer of an elderly or disabled person. They have been coming forward in very large numbers and we have made available additional vaccination slots to cope with the demand.

“When we start our programme of second dose vaccinations, appointments for first doses will not be just as easy to obtain. Therefore for those eligible, the best time to get booking is now.”

The latest running total shows 582,881 vaccines administered. Of these, 545,019 have been first doses and 37,862 second doses. The numbers divide almost exactly evenly between GP practices and the Trust run vaccination centres, underlining the value of our twin track approach.

The progress to date includes first doses received by:

* 96% of over 80-year-olds– 69,146 people.

* 91% of 75-79 age group  – 56,474 people.

* 86% of 70-74 age group – 70,098 people.

* 72% of 65-69 age group – 64,643 people

* 45% of CEV – 42,832 people. Many CEV (Clinically Extremely Vulnerable) people will be in the 65 plus age group, so are being covered in that section of the vaccination programme.

Health Minister Robin Swann commented: “Today’s figures mark the tremendous achievement of our health professionals and volunteers in rolling out the vaccination programme with great efficiency. I know it will provide very welcome reassurance and a sense of hope for many families as we see hundreds of thousands of our most vulnerable citizens gaining the protection of the vaccine.

“We expect the supply of vaccine to increase significantly this month, the programme is accelerating and we are moving very well through the priority groups. So please be patient, we will get to you. And remember that while every jab is taking us a step closer to the better times ahead, we still need to maintain our efforts to stop Covid spreading.”

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