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covid fightback 10,000 jabbed in a day as walk-in vaccine centres prove popular

The centres are operating in different locations across Ireland over the bank holiday weekend.

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People queue outside a walk-in vaccination centre at the National Show Centre in Swords, Dublin (Damien Eagers/PA)

People queue outside a walk-in vaccination centre at the National Show Centre in Swords, Dublin (Damien Eagers/PA)

People queue outside a walk-in vaccination centre at the National Show Centre in Swords, Dublin (Damien Eagers/PA)

More than 10,000 people got vaccinated at temporary walk-in centres across Ireland on Saturday.

Dozens of centres have been operating across the country over the bank holiday weekend as the vaccination programme continues at a significant pace.

Long queues have been observed at many across the weekend, with many young people among those waiting in line for a first jab.

Two thirds of the 10,000 jabbed at the walk-in centres on Saturday were 19 or younger.

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People queue outside a walk-in vaccination centre at the National Show Centre in Swords, Dublin on Sunday (Damien Eagers/PA).

People queue outside a walk-in vaccination centre at the National Show Centre in Swords, Dublin on Sunday (Damien Eagers/PA).

People queue outside a walk-in vaccination centre at the National Show Centre in Swords, Dublin on Sunday (Damien Eagers/PA).

Twenty of the centres will be open through Sunday and Monday.

HSE chief executive Paul Reid, who visited a centre in Athlone on Sunday, said the walk-in initiative would be used again, but not on such a widespread scale as the bank holiday weekend drive.

“Due to the success of it we are looking at how we will utilise it now going forward,” he told RTE.

“So we do expect to use it again in a very targeted and focused way not just generally walk-ins but very targeted, focused and promoted. So we do expect to use it again.”

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A health worker gives a vaccine in a vaccination centre at the National Show Centre in Swords, Dublin on Sunday (Damien Eagers/PA)

A health worker gives a vaccine in a vaccination centre at the National Show Centre in Swords, Dublin on Sunday (Damien Eagers/PA)

A health worker gives a vaccine in a vaccination centre at the National Show Centre in Swords, Dublin on Sunday (Damien Eagers/PA)

Saturday also saw Ireland mark a landmark in the vaccine rollout when the country overtook the UK in terms of percentage of adults fully vaccinated.

It represented a significant turnaround after the early stages of the vaccine programme were hit by delays associated with EU supply issues.

In the spring there was speculation the UK might even move to donate surplus vaccines to Ireland later in the year to help it address the shortfall in jabs.

Since then Ireland’s rollout has accelerated significantly.

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On Saturday, Taoiseach Micheal Martin said 72.4% of adults were fully vaccinated in Ireland, compared to 72.1% in the UK.

“A brilliant effort by everyone involved,” Mr Martin tweeted.

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Queues have formed outside walk-in centres across the weekend (Damien Eagers/PA)

Queues have formed outside walk-in centres across the weekend (Damien Eagers/PA)

Queues have formed outside walk-in centres across the weekend (Damien Eagers/PA)

Responding to images of queues at the walk-in centres on social media, Health Minster Stephen Donnelly tweeted: “Just fantastic to see this! We should all be so proud of our collective enthusiasm and buy-in to our national vaccine programme.”

Ireland also reached another less positive milestone on Saturday as the number of cases reported in the country since the pandemic began hit 300,000.

There were a further 1,098 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 reported on Sunday.

There were 163 Covid-19 patients in hospital on Sunday morning, 26 of whom were in ICU.

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