More than 58,000 Covid-19 vaccines were administered in Ireland yesterday — the highest amount given out on any one day of the rollout so far.
In a tweet, HSE chief executive Paul Reid said the figure was "good news for Friday".
Mr Reid also said the HSE was now on course to deliver up to 330,000 vaccines this week — more than have been administered during any other week of the vaccine rollout.
According to the latest statistics, roughly 61% of the adult population has now received a first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, and 31% is fully vaccinated.
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
In total, 3.4m doses have been administered, 2.1m first doses and 1.3m second doses.
At a HSE briefing on Thursday afternoon, health officials confirmed that the vaccination portal would open for those aged 35-39 this coming Sunday.
As with previous cohorts, those aged 39 will be able to register for their jab on Sunday and those aged 38 will be able to register from Monday and so on.
However, given that there are 380,000 people in Ireland aged 35 to 39, health officials have warned that moving through this category will be slower than other cohorts.
Vaccine supply will also be a factor in the rollout to this group. Only two supply lines available are available for this group — Moderna and Pfizer.
Under advice from the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC), the AstraZeneca and Janssen vaccines are only being given to older age groups.
That said, Mr Reid said June and July would still be "strong" months for the rollout, with more than 220,000 vaccines likely to be administered each week going forward.
"It’s more graduated back to where it was, but there’s still reasonably strong lines from two suppliers so July will still be a good month, it will still be a strong month," he said.
Chief clinical officer Dr Colm Henry told the briefing that the 14-day incidence rate of the virus has now fallen to below 100 cases per 100,000 population for the first time since late summer 2020.
“It’s a significant drop and one that reflects the overall trend, and the real impact of the vaccination programme,” he said.
The reproductive or 'R' number of the virus is now estimated to be less than 1.
Meanwhile, the number of Covid-19 hospital inpatients has continued to decrease.
This morning, there are 52 patients hospitalised with the virus, 18 of whom are being treated in intensive care.