Coronavirus: Vaccine portal to remain open to over 18s from Friday

Reiterating that the coronavirus pandemic can only be effectively addressed through vaccinations, the health ministry on Monday announced the vaccination portal will be open for everyone over 18 from Friday onwards.

Until Saturday, 59.3 per cent of the eligible population had received the first jab while 40 per cent have completed their vaccination against Covid-19.

The government has said its target is to administer a first jab to 65 per cent of the population by the end of June. It has been buoyed by a much-improved epidemiological picture, with the number of positive cases steadily below 100, and fewer patients in coronavirus wards.

However, anxious to maintain the momentum, not least in order to keep new variants at bay, authorities have kept a watchful eye on the Indian or Delta variant which has seen a surge in the UK but has so far been detected in only a handful of cases here.

“Even though the pandemic has waned in this period as a result of the responsible cooperation of citizens in adhering to the measures that were implemented before and the response to the invitation to be vaccination, the competent scientific organisations in the EU and internationally are warning that the pandemic will be dealt with effectively only through vaccinations and urge states to remain on alert and accelerate the pace of vaccinations,” the health ministry said.

The vaccination portal remains open on Monday until 5.30pm for people aged 40 and over. From Tuesday to Thursday from 7.30am to 5.30pm it will be open for those aged 18 to 39.

Then, from 7.30am on Friday, June 18 it will open for everyone aged 18 and over, remaining open until appointment slots are filled.

“The intention is to add appointments at regular intervals with available vaccines that are delivered,” the ministry said.

It urged the public to contribute to the huge endeavour underway to vaccinate as much of the population as possible, thereby shielding all of society.

“At this stage, excessive complacency is our biggest enemy in the fight we continue to wage against the virus and can reverse the epidemiological picture and delay a safe return to normality,” it added.

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