Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said that Ireland has overtaken the UK in terms of vaccine deployment.
He said Ireland now had 72.4% of adults fully vaccinated, while the UK had 72.1%.
“The deployment of vaccines continues at a very fast pace. Today we have made progress in front of our closest neighbors: a brilliant effort on the part of all those involved, ”he said.
Earlier, Mr Martin praised the “positive uptake” of vaccinations at interest centers that are open across the country this festive weekend.
Vaccination on foot was available on Saturday and will be available on Sunday. Here are all the details.
HSE clinics are open to people over the age of 16 who have not yet received a first dose of coronavirus vaccine.
Martin tweeted: “It’s great to see how the # Covid19 vaccine clinics work – and the positive uptake already.”
The head of medicine (OCM), Dr Tony Holohan, praised young people in particular for “queuing up for vaccination” against Covid-19 in access clinics.
Many teenagers were queuing outside Dublin’s Citywest Convention Center on Saturday, where vaccinations were offered between 8am and noon.
“Today we have reached the milestone of 300,000 cases reported in Ireland since the beginning of the pandemic,” Dr Holohan said.
“However, today we have also seen how solidarity remains the hallmark of our response to young people across the country lining up to get vaccinated, both to protect themselves and to play their part in protection. of the community.
“I strongly urge anyone eligible for a vaccine to show up and seize the opportunity as soon as possible.”
Ronan Glynn, deputy director general of the CMO, also praised the youth in a tweet: “The silent acts of the silent majority have defined the response to # COVID19 in Ireland. Vaccination by young people and attendance at access centers today are the latest examples of how people of all ages continue to act to protect themselves and their wider communities #Forusall ”.
A further 1,427 cases of coronavirus were confirmed on Saturday afternoon, with 164 Covid-19 patients hospitalized, of which 26 in the ICU.
The latest Covid-19 figures for Northern Ireland were released on Saturday afternoon.
According to the Northern Department of Health, eight deaths were recorded along with 1,177 positive cases in the last 24 hours.
A total of 2,255,519 vaccines were administered in Northern Ireland.
Meanwhile, Health Minister Stephen Donnelly announced an update to the list of so-called “designated states”.
People who are not yet fully vaccinated and arrive in Ireland who have passed or transited through these states during the previous 14 days must enter the mandatory hotel quarantine (MHQ).
Walking assistance to the clinics has left us “impressed”. Young people in Ireland have been at the forefront of changing this country for the better. They have now come out in numbers to protect ourselves and ourselves. And we are now ahead of the UK for the percentage of fully vaccinated adults. @HSELive
– Paul Reid (@paulreiddublin)
July 31, 2021
– Micheál Martin (@MichealMartinTD)
July 31, 2021
Additional countries to be added to the list are: Georgia and Malaysia.
Kuwait has been removed from the list of designated states.
Earlier, HSE chief executive Paul Reid said Ireland was in the “final countdown to protect and rebuild us”.
“City West is flying it, with more than 800 people vaccinated in the first 1.5 hours. The smaller centers are also showing good turnout. A great response from the Irish people,” Reid tweeted on Saturday in the morning.
An appointment is not required during assigned hours, but those who show up outside of these will not be vaccinated. People can also sign up online for an appointment.
“This weekend we can further strengthen our lines of defense against #Delta. Vaccination Centers are now available to all adults receiving a dose 1. After only 7 months of the vaccination program, we are in the final countdown to protect and rebuild us, ”Reid said.
Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is offered in clinics.
Ireland’s vaccine program has accelerated significantly in recent months with more than 5.8 million shots administered to date.
More than 86% of eligible people have received a dose with more than 71% completely vaccinated. Health officials have said children aged 12 to 16 should receive a vaccine in August.
The head of medicine, Tony Holohan, has said the “incredible uptake” is bringing Ireland to a “turning point in the pandemic”.
In the meantime, up to 40,000 fans will be able to attend the finals across Ireland at Croke Park in a further step towards removing Covid-19 restrictions.
There remains the possibility that a sharp increase in the number of cases or poor compliance with the attendance guidelines by viewers may see the decision reversed. However, there is confidence in the Government that the large meetings will continue, reinforced by the increase in the level of vaccination among adults and the absence of infections related to the pilot matches held so far.
Nearly 25,000 fans will also be allowed to attend the Republic of Ireland World Cup qualifiers at Aviva Stadium in September according to the plan announced Friday by State Minister for Sport Jack Chambers.
He said the plan “is an important signal of how far we have come as a country.”
Along with the mandatory wearing of facial covers, fans are expected to maintain social distancing when entering and leaving stadiums. Match visitors must provide contact details when purchasing tickets and are advised to have the Covid tracker app for smartphones.
Croke Park Stadium director Peter McKenna warned this week that the fact that spectators did not wear masks (with such a low 30% compliance in some games) could undermine efforts to get higher attendances.
On Friday night, he praised the “extremely positive” decision to move forward, and said the “challenge” now would be to prove that fans could be met.
He said it would be “unusual” at this time for the decision to increase the number of attendances to be reversed, but “it is also unrealistic” given the “current” precarious situation of public health.
There have been ongoing reminders in stadium announcements and on screens and signage of the requirement to wear a face covering. McKenna believes compliance would be met now that the recent heat wave has subsided and predicted fans would respond well to the guidelines.
The arts a “later thought”
A government source confirmed that, as with any easing of Covid-19 restrictions, the decision to increase the numbers would remain under review.
The 40,000 people limit will apply to next month’s hurling and senior football finals, as well as the camogie and women’s football finals.
A working group involving GAA, FAI and IRFU, along with government and health officials, has met weekly to review pilot parties.
These meetings will continue in August, even after the 24,000 attendance increase allowed for four All-Ireland semi-finals.
Fianna Fáil Senator Malcolm Byrne praised the opening of sporting events and indoor hospitality, but expressed frustration that “theater and arts venues remain a later reflection.”
He said that these are “large controlled places that allow people to be separated at a distance and where the public does not seek to speak, unlike a pub or restaurant.
“Why isn’t the same attention being paid to how we can resume cultural activity safely as in other sectors?”
On Friday, the HSE urged the public to be vigilant following reports of a text scam from criminals claiming to offer a vaccination appointment against the HSE.
Meanwhile, the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control warned of all but essential trips to much of Spain, including the holiday islands of Ibiza, Menorca and Palma.
He also warned about travel to most of the Netherlands, Cyprus, Corsica and the popular tourist sites of the southern Greek Aegean islands due to a boom in the Covid-19 cases.
The Covid digital certificate has facilitated travel to the European Union to show that a person is completely vaccinated, has recently recovered from the virus, or has had a pre-exit negative test.
On Friday, the Government launched an online portal to help people access their certificates as citizens continued to complain about the long delays in helplines set earlier this month.
The portal, covidcertificateportal.gov.ie, allows users to request changes to a certificate already received or check the status of their certificate.
The latest figures show that 21,000 calls have been handled by agents of just under 213,000 or slightly below 10 per cent.
Elsewhere, Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said he does not approve of any “unilateral breach” of Covid-19 regulations after Elphin’s bishop Kevin Doran said he would continue to offer communions and confirmations.
Martin said he wanted to know if it was “too much to ask” for current regulations to be adopted as the country makes significant strides in the Covid-19 vaccination campaign. – PA of additional reports