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Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Northern Ireland health chiefs concerned over vaccine uptake

Health chiefs in Northern Ireland have expressed their concerns over the lack of people taking the Covid-19 vaccine.

Northern Ireland’s Minister for Health Robin Swann, Chief Scientific Advisor Professor Ian Young and Chief Medical Officer Sir Micheal McBride stressed that the vaccine rollout “cannot continue indefinitely”.

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They have expressed their concerns amid a recent significant increase in Covid-19 cases, with 1,138 new cases of the virus being reported on Tuesday including 118 patients being treated for the virus in hospital.

One death was reported by Northern Ireland’s Department of Health, which brings the country’s death toll to 2,164.

Six patients are now receiving treatment in ICU for Covid-19 with overall bed occupancy at 103%.

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In regards to Northern Ireland’s vaccine rollout, 82% of adults have now received their first vaccine jab.

Just 56% of those aged 18-29 have come forward for the vaccine, with Professor Ian Young stating, “There’s still around 18 per cent of adults who have not come forward for the first dose of their vaccine,” while adding, “And that means 18 per cent of people who are just as susceptible to the most severe effects of Covid as they were earlier in the epidemic and at just the same risk of severe illness, long-term illness in the form of long Covid, hospital admission and death.”

McBride stated that people should be taking the opportunity now to receive their vaccine as the health service will begin standing down the big vaccination centres next month.

Swann stated that getting the Covid-19 vaccine will never be easier or more accessible while stating, “The right time to get your vaccine is right now.”

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