IRELAND has hit a new record for the number of Covid-19 vaccinations handed out over the course of 24 hours,
As per the latest figures, more than 58,000 jabs were administered on Thursday, as Ireland's vaccine rollout continues to gather pace.
Despite this, HSE chief Paul Reid admitted earlier this week that the rollout will likely slow in July, because only Pfizer and Moderna vaccines will be available during the month.
But due to the high volume of jabs already handed out, Ireland has "every reason to be optimistic," according to the HSE.
"Some good news for Friday. Yesterday we had our highest daily administration of vaccines at over 58,000," Mr Reid tweeted this morning.
Some good news for Friday. Yesterday we had our highest daily administration of vaccines at over 58,000. On course for up to 330,000 this week. Hospital #Covid19 inpatients down to 52 (24 hospitals with 2 or less), 18 in ICU. As always, let's protect this huge progress @HSELive
— Paul Reid (@paulreiddublin) June 18, 2021
"On course for up to 330,000 this week. Hospital Covid-19 inpatients down to 52 (24 hospitals with 2 or less), 18 in ICU.
"As always, let's protect this huge progress."
Speaking on Newstalk Breakfast, HSE chief clinical officer Dr Colm Henry said: "There's every reason to be optimistic based on the vaccine programme.
"Not just based on what we're experiencing in this country, but looking abroad to countries that are well ahead in their vaccination programme.
"Israel, countries like that. We're seeing achievements of the vaccine programme way beyond what we could have hoped for in the trials.
This week we'll administer up to 330,000 vaccines & well over 300,000 next week. We've always committed that we'll administer vaccines efficiently every week, as we get them. This is exactly what we continue to do in Vaccination Centres, with GPs & now Pharmacies. @HSELive
— Paul Reid (@paulreiddublin) June 17, 2021
"We now see for the first time yesterday, the 14-day incidence per 100,000 drop below 100. It was in its thousands in the middle of January."
According to Mr Reid, around 61% of Irish adults have had their first Covid jab, while 31% are fully vaccinated against the virus, with over 3.4 million jabs administered over the last six-and-a-half months.
Ireland also has one of the strongest vaccine uptakes in Europe. There's roughly a 100% take-up among people aged over 80, 97% for the over 70s, 92% for the over 60s and 87% for the over 50s.