Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly has received his first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine.
In a video message on Saturday, he praised health care workers for their efforts to rollout the jabs and issued a “special thanks” to the nurse who administered his dose.
Those aged 41 can register for their vaccine as of today, while registration will open to 40-year-olds tomorrow.
The nurse said I was very brave, no lollipops though
“We are here at the Shoreline centre in Greystones. I’ve just had my first vaccine dose,” Mr Donnelly, aged in his forties, said in the video on Twitter.
“Very, very excited about that. The nurse said I was very brave, no lollipops though.
“I just wanted to say thank you to everybody involved. We’ve got clinicians from all over the place, HSE staff here, a wonderful volunteer team here, we’re got the Irish Red Cross here, the people running the centre - it’s a real community effort.
“It’s fantastic to see... they are looking for more volunteers, so if you’d like to get involved, contact Volunteer Wicklow and they can sign you up... I hope everyone has a fantastic bank holiday weekend, mind each other, keep each other safe.”
I’ve just had my first #COVID19Vaccine at the centre in Greystones. Thanks so much to everyone involved, I feel privileged. Special thanks to nurse Fiona who made it such a brilliant experience 👏 pic.twitter.com/9GCu9gD9bh
— Stephen Donnelly (@DonnellyStephen) June 5, 2021
The Health Minister's vaccination comes amid expectation the Ireland's three millionth Covid-19 vaccine will be administered this weekend.
HSE chief executive Paul Reid has said the country is in a “strong position” as it enters the bank holiday weekend amid lowering Covid-19 hospitalisations.
On Thursday, Mr Reid said 53 per cent of the adult population have now had their first dose of the vaccine, while almost 900,000 people have received their second dose, amounting to around 25 per cent of the population.
School children vaccinations
Separately, Mr Donnelly said he would like to see the Pfizer vaccine rolled out to those aged 12 to 15 in Ireland with underlying conditions as quickly as possible.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has approved the jab for children of that age, and the Government is now awaiting advice from the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (Niac) on its rollout to school age children in Ireland.
Mr Donnelly said one option would be to make it part of school vaccination programmes.
“We’ll be awaiting a considered view from Niac on that and then we’ll work with the task force, with the HSE, to see how that might be rolled out,” he said.
“My own view for example is one of the priority groups within that is 12 to 15 year olds who have underlying conditions, that’s something that I want to see prioritised and rolled out as quickly as possible.”