The head of Northern Ireland’s coronavairus vaccine programme is standing down.
Patricia Donnelly, as we report on page 14, has thanked the various teams and outlets that have overseen the vaccination rollout.
It was, she said, “a super-human effort” by people who have “worked tirelessly over the past 18 months”.
Ms Donnelly has good reason to be proud of the outcome of the significant organisational project that she oversaw.
There are around 1.5 million adults in Northern Ireland, who make up the great bulk of the 1.4 million people have had their first dose, 90% or so of them. Even the second dose total of 1.3m is approaching 90% of grown-ups.
And approximately two thirds of the population aged over 18 have had a booster.
For all the scare stories about jabs, the side effects from taking the vaccines have been negligible — just as the experts said.
And the benefits have been immense.
From late last year, the people admitted to intensive care due to Covid were overwhelmingly unvaccinated.
Vaccines ended up being of low benefit in stopping transmission but of huge help in alleviating symptoms.
The rollout of the jab programme, and the public’s embracing of it, has been central to achieving the return to normality that we are all now enjoying.
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