Ireland has more adults fully vaccinated than the UK, the Taoiseach has said.
Micheál Martin confirmed that 72.4% of adults here are now full vaccinated, compared to 72.1% in the UK.
The Taoiseach hailed the “great pace” of the vaccine rollout saying it has been a “brilliant effort by everyone involved”.
The vaccine rollout is continuing at great pace.— Micheál Martin (@MichealMartinTD) July 31, 2021
Today we edged ahead of our nearest neighbours - a brilliant effort by everyone involved.
➡️Ireland: 72.4% of adults fully vaccinated
➡️UK: 72.1% of adults fully vaccinated
It comes as the country hit the milestone of 300,000 cases of Covid-19, while 1,427 new cases were recorded today.
Health officials confirmed the figure, stating that 164 patients with Covid are hospitalised, of which 26 are in ICUs.
“Today we have reached the milestone of 300,000 cases reported in Ireland since the beginning of the pandemic," said Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan.
“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.
The CMO "strongly urged" anyone who is eligible for a vaccine to get one.
Meanwhile, walk-in vaccination centres across the country opened to the public today.
HSE chief Paul Reid said the centres are off “to a great start” with 800 people getting the jab at City West in the first 90 minutes.
“Smaller centres equally reporting a good turnout. A great response by the Irish people,” Mr Reid said.
Walk in Vaccination Centres all across the country are off to a great start this weekend. City West is flying it, with over 800 people vaccinated in the first 1.5 hours. Smaller centres equally reporting a good turnout. A great response by the Irish people. @HSELive pic.twitter.com/QpfgDXZHBz— Paul Reid (@paulreiddublin) July 31, 2021
The walk centres are open to anyone who is over 16 and who has not yet received their first does of the vaccine.
The public do not need to make an appointment with the centre but people wishing to get vaccinated need to produce photo ID and their Personal Public Service (PPS) number.
Mr Reid said this evening that they have 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 and us."
Meanwhile, eight more deaths of patients who had tested positive for Covid-19 have been reported in the North.
The Department of Health in the region said there had also been 1,117 new confirmed cases of the virus in the last 24-hour reporting period.