NI set to hit million jab mark at weekend
Northern Ireland is poised to reach a landmark in it coronavirus vaccination roll-out this weekend with one million doses administered.
The latest figures from the Department of Health at Stormont, published on Friday morning, show that a total of 987,819 doses had been administered — a rise of 9,017 on the previous day’s total.
That breaks down into 806,005 first doses and 181,814 second doses.
Per-head-of population, that translates to roughly 56% of the adult population having had at least one dose, with roughly 13% having had both doses.
If the current vaccination rate in Northern Ireland continues, the one-million mark for total doses is likely to be reached this weekend.
The Health Service Executive in the Republic of Ireland, meanwhile, reported that it had administered more than one million doses on Thursday.
Vaccination rates per head of population in the south, however, continue to lag behind those in Northern Ireland.
Meanwhile, the Covid-19 variants that have been worrying scientists do not appear to be rising in popular European destinations, UK advisers have said.
It is still unclear whether vaccines protect against variants, although research published last week suggested the Pfizer jab could offer good protection against the Brazilian and South African variants.
AstraZeneca has also said it hopes its vaccine will protect against severe disease from any variant.
While Covid infection rates are still high in countries such as Spain and France, levels of, for example, the South African variant, are staying pretty constant and are not going up, according to scientists advising the UK Government.
The experts say the vaccine rollout has already slowed overall transmission of the virus in the UK.