By Cate McCurry, PA
One in six adults in Ireland have received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, according to the Health Minister.
Stephen Donnelly also said that Ireland currently has one of the lowest rates of Covid-19 in Europe.
It comes as the health service in Ireland plans to ramp up its vaccine programme following months of setbacks and missed targets.
Despite plans to administer one million doses of Covid-19 vaccines throughout April, the Government revised down its target to around 860,000 vaccines.
One in six adults in Ireland has now received at least one dose of a Covid vaccine. The no of people w/Covid in ICUs has fallen by about 75% since peak in late January. We've one of the lowest rates of Covid-19 in Europe now. We're making huge progress.
— Stephen Donnelly (@DonnellyStephen) April 6, 2021
On Tuesday, Mr Donnelly tweeted: “One in six adults in Ireland has now received at least one dose of a Covid vaccine.
“The no (number) of people with Covid in ICUs has fallen by about 75% since peak in late January.
“We’ve one of the lowest rates of Covid-19 in Europe now. We’re making huge progress.”
There are currently 261 patients in hospital with Covid-19, of which 60 are in intensive care.
Last week, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said that the vast majority of adults will be offered at least one vaccine by the end of June.
Additional freedoms will be granted to people once they have been fully vaccinated, he also confirmed at the weekend.
Mr Varadkar revealed the Government is developing a “digital green certificate vaccine pass” for people to prove they have been fully inoculated.
He said the Government would introduce “additional measures for the fully vaccinated, more freedoms for those who have been vaccinated”.
He added that Ireland’s vaccination programme is set to accelerate in the coming weeks, telling the public: “We’re going to surprise you.”
The vaccination rollout in Ireland has been beset by problems, with criticisms over its speed, issues with deliveries from manufacturers and controversy over queue skipping.
But Friday saw 30,500 doses administered, the single-day record total since the rollout began.
Ireland is now on course to pass the one million doses mark this week, and Mr Varadkar has promised the rollout will be “accelerated in coming weeks”.
It comes as new data shows that more people in almost every county are continuing to travel further than 10km from their home.
The data shows that there continues to be a relaxation in adherence to Covid-19 travel restrictions, using anonymised mobile phone activity records to measure the public’s movements across seven days.