‘Momentous day’ as one million vaccinated against Covid-19 in Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland has reached the milestone of more than one million people having received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine.

On Tuesday it was confirmed that 1,000,928 people in the region had received at least one jab.

First Minister Arlene Foster and deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill said it was a “momentous day”.

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“Today is a hugely significant milestone in our fightback against Covid,” Mrs Foster said.

“The vaccination is not only a life-saver; it is key to unlocking more freedoms, opening up our economy, and allowing us to do the things we have missed so dearly.

“Over the last year, our society has faced a challenge unlike any other, and these have been the most difficult of times for everyone. I am so proud of how far we have come, together. Today, in marking one million people vaccinated, we can all look forward to a better future.

“Administering these vaccines involves a huge logistical effort, and I want to once again thank all those involved in the programme.”

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Ms O’Neill added: “This is an incredible day as we pass the landmark of one million people vaccinated across the north. It is remarkable to reflect on how far we’ve come in just over five months since our vaccination programme began.

“The vaccine is vital in our defence against Covid-19 and I have no doubt that it has already saved many lives. It also paves the way to brighter days for all.

“Today we can all take heart from this phenomenal success story and look forward to rebuilding our society for the good of everyone.

“I offer my thanks to all those who have come forward to take up the vaccine, and encourage others to do the same. And I commend all those across health and social care who have played in a part in getting us to this point.”

Meanwhile, Health Minister Robin Swann updated the Stormont Assembly earlier over services for patients suffering from long-term side effects of Covid-19.

He was speaking in response to a question from Sinn Fein MLA Philip McGuigan.

Mr Swann said a multi-disciplinary approach is being looked at with physiotherapists, primary care and secondary care.

“The costing proposals are not insignificant to establish this… we are looking at possibly this year and next year in the region of £2 million to supply this service,” he told MLAs.

“And it’s not as simple as how much money I will allocate, it’s how much money hopefully his party colleague in the ministry of finance will see this as a worthy cause to support… this is a service that is needed.”

The latest data from the Department of Health notified two further deaths of patients who had previously tested positive for Covid-19.

Another 104 positive cases were also notified on Tuesday while there were 38 Covid positive patients in hospital, of whom three were in intensive care.