By Q Radio news
Two new Covid-19 related deaths have been reported in Northern Ireland.
The Department of Health also says there were 104 new positive cases in the last 24 hours.
Three people are being treated in intensive care units
Meanwhile more than one million people in the region have now received a first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine - that's just under 70 per cent of the adult population.
Health Minister Robin Swann ‘I cannot praise our vaccination programme enough - it is saving lives’ 👏👏— Department of Health (@healthdpt) May 18, 2021
Over 1️⃣ MILLION people have now received a vaccine dose in Northern Ireland. pic.twitter.com/IcqBpgeSrB
On Tuesday it was confirmed that 1,000,928 people in the region had received at least one jab - more than half the population.
First Minister Arlene Foster and deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill said it was a “momentous day”.
“Today is a hugely significant milestone in our fightback against Covid,” Mrs Foster said.
“The vaccination is not only a life-saver; it is key to unlocking more freedoms, opening up our economy, and allowing us to do the things we have missed so dearly.
“Over the last year, our society has faced a challenge unlike any other, and these have been the most difficult of times for everyone. I am so proud of how far we have come, together. Today, in marking one million people vaccinated, we can all look forward to a better future.
“Administering these vaccines involves a huge logistical effort, and I want to once again thank all those involved in the programme.”
(Chief Medical Officer Dr Michael McBride receives his vaccine)
Ms O’Neill added: “This is an incredible day as we pass the landmark of one million people vaccinated across the north. It is remarkable to reflect on how far we’ve come in just over five months since our vaccination programme began.
“The vaccine is vital in our defence against Covid-19 and I have no doubt that it has already saved many lives. It also paves the way to brighter days for all.
“Today we can all take heart from this phenomenal success story and look forward to rebuilding our society for the good of everyone.
“I offer my thanks to all those who have come forward to take up the vaccine, and encourage others to do the same. And I commend all those across health and social care who have played in a part in getting us to this point.”
Meanwhile, Health Minister Robin Swann updated the Stormont Assembly earlier over services for patients suffering from long-term side effects of Covid-19.
He was speaking in response to a question from Sinn Fein MLA Philip McGuigan.
Mr Swann said a multi-disciplinary approach is being looked at with physiotherapists, primary care and secondary care.
“The costing proposals are not insignificant to establish this… we are looking at possibly this year and next year in the region of £2 million to supply this service,” he told MLAs.
“And it’s not as simple as how much money I will allocate, it’s how much money hopefully his party colleague in the ministry of finance will see this as a worthy cause to support… this is a service that is needed.”
(Mr Swann revealed his department is looking at investing £2million in the health service to help people suffering from long Covid)
Emergency Department sister, Joanna Sloan, was the first person to receive the first Covid jab here and has welcomed the latest milestone: