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covid battle Queues at vaccine centres as children in Ireland receive jabs

The vaccine programme has opened to children in the 12 to 15 age group.

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Denise O’Mahony McKeon with her son Kevin Mckeon, 14, as she speaks to vaccinator Geraldine Flynn before he receives his first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine at the Citywest vaccination centre in Dublin (Damien Storan/PA)

Denise O’Mahony McKeon with her son Kevin Mckeon, 14, as she speaks to vaccinator Geraldine Flynn before he receives his first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine at the Citywest vaccination centre in Dublin (Damien Storan/PA)

Denise O’Mahony McKeon with her son Kevin Mckeon, 14, as she speaks to vaccinator Geraldine Flynn before he receives his first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine at the Citywest vaccination centre in Dublin (Damien Storan/PA)

Queues formed at vaccine centres in Ireland as children aged 12 to 15 received their jabs.

About 75,000 children in the age group had registered for a vaccine appointment by Saturday, 48 hours after the online portal opened to the cohort.

A number of centres administered vaccines to 12 to 15-year-olds on Friday but the main rollout began in earnest on Saturday.

The children, who need the consent of a parent or guardian to get vaccinated, are receiving Pfizer or Moderna jabs.

Bill Shelley, 14, and his 12-year-old sister Sarah were among those who queued in the pouring rain outside the vaccine centre at Citywest in Dublin on Saturday.

Afterwards their father Michael expressed his relief that his children had received their jabs.

“We’re very pleased, I’m delighted they’ve got their first vaccine,” he said.

“As parents, protecting them for their future health is one of the main reasons we’re here and keeping schools open is really important too.

“Really happy and really pleased – it went really well. We can’t thank the vaccinators and the team here enough.”

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Parents and their children queue in rain outside the Citywest vaccination centre in Dublin on Saturday (Damien Storan/PA)

Parents and their children queue in rain outside the Citywest vaccination centre in Dublin on Saturday (Damien Storan/PA)

Parents and their children queue in rain outside the Citywest vaccination centre in Dublin on Saturday (Damien Storan/PA)

More than 80% of the adult population in Ireland is now fully vaccinated and about 90% partially vaccinated.

The Health Service Executive (HSE) has said it wants to vaccinate the 12-15 age group “rapidly and quickly”.

HSE chief executive Paul Reid said opening up the vaccination to the cohort marked a “very strong point” of the country’s vaccine programme.

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“Our teams and vaccination centres are strongly focused to try and get this job done rapidly and quickly,” he said.

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Michael and Rebecca Shelley with their children Bill, 14, and Sarah, 12, after they received their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine at the Citywest vaccination centre in Dublin (Damien Storan/PA)

Michael and Rebecca Shelley with their children Bill, 14, and Sarah, 12, after they received their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine at the Citywest vaccination centre in Dublin (Damien Storan/PA)

Michael and Rebecca Shelley with their children Bill, 14, and Sarah, 12, after they received their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine at the Citywest vaccination centre in Dublin (Damien Storan/PA)

A further 2,074 confirmed cases of Covid-19 were reported in Ireland on Saturday.

On Saturday morning there were 229 Covid-19 patients in hospital, 43 of whom were being treated in intensive care.

On Friday, deputy chief medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn warned that Covid-19 rates are rising across Ireland, with more than 10,000 cases recorded in the last week.

He warned the incidence of Covid-19 cases was now rising across all age groups, not just among those aged 16-29.

“While vaccination has very positively impacted on the proportion of positive cases who end up in hospital or critical care, the current high and increasing incidence will nevertheless result in a significant number of people getting very sick with Covid-19,” Dr Glynn said.

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