Ireland has overtaken the United Kingdom in terms of fully vaccinated adults, with 72.4% of the Irish adult population now fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin confirmed that Ireland had overtaken its near neighbor in a tweet on Saturday and credited Irish people for their "brilliant effort".
"The vaccine rollout is continuing at great pace. Today we edged ahead of our nearest neighbors - a brilliant effort by everyone involved," Martin said on Twitter.
The UK approved several coronavirus vaccines before the European Union, allowing it to move ahead with its vaccination rollout. It was also able to produce an impressive rollout due to its substantial build-up of AstraZeneca vaccines and had partially vaccinated more than half of its adult population by April.
However, Ireland's vaccination rollout has gathered momentum in recent months due to an impressive uptake among all age groups. More than 350,000 doses of the vaccine have been regularly administered in Ireland every week, allowing it to overtake its near neighbor despite a slow start to the vaccination rollout.
A total of 72.4% of Irish people are now fully vaccinated compared to 72.1% in the UK.
The vaccine rollout is continuing at great pace.
Today we edged ahead of our nearest neighbours - a brilliant effort by everyone involved.
➡️Ireland: 72.4% of adults fully vaccinated— Micheál Martin (@MichealMartinTD) July 31, 2021
➡️UK: 72.1% of adults fully vaccinated
The Taoiseach also praised the "positive uptake" at walk-in vaccination centers around the country over the bank holiday weekend.
"Great to see the walk-in #Covid19 vaccine clinics up and running — and the positive uptake already."
Chief Medical Officer Dr. Tony Holohan praised young people in particular for "lining up to get vaccinated" at walk-in clinics.
"Today we have reached the milestone of 300,000 cases reported in Ireland since the beginning of the pandemic,” Holohan said on Saturday. "However, today we have also seen how solidarity continues to be the hallmark of our response with young people across the country lining up to get vaccinated, both to protect themselves and to play their part in protecting the community."
HSE CEO Paul Reid said health officials were "blown away" by attendances at walk-in vaccination centers.
"Young people in Ireland have been to the fore of changing this country for the better. Now they've come out in numbers to protect themselves & us. And we're now ahead of the UK for % of adults fully vaccinated!"
Weve been "blown away" by attendances at walk in clinics. Young people in Ireland have been to the fore of changing this country for the better. Now they've come out in numbers to protect themselves & us. And we're now ahead of the UK for % of adults fully vaccinated! @HSELive— Paul Reid (@paulreiddublin) July 31, 2021
According to the latest figures from the Department of Health, a total of 5,849,924 doses of the vaccine have been administered in Ireland with 3,307,341 million people partially vaccinated and 2,542,583 fully vaccinated.