David Young, PA
More than 10,000 people got vaccinated at temporary walk-in centres across the State 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. Twenty of the centres will be open through Sunday and Monday.
On Sunday afternoon, the Department of Health confirmed that 1,098 new cases of Covid-19 have been recorded in the State as of midnight on Saturday. There are now 163 people in hospital with the virus, 26 of whom are in ICU.
Earlier, 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 RTÉ.
“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.”
Saturday also saw the Republic 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 the State later in the year to help it address the shortfall in jabs.
Since then, the Irish rollout has accelerated significantly.
On Saturday, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said 72.4 per cent of adults were fully vaccinated in Ireland, compared to 72.1 per cent in the UK.
“A brilliant effort by everyone involved,” Mr Martin tweeted.
Responding to images of queues at the walk-in centres on social media, Minster for Health 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.”
On Saturday, the State also passed the 300,000-mark for the number of Covid cases recorded since the beginning of the pandemic last year.