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As restrictions are eased heading into summer, how is Ireland's vaccine rollout going?

Over 180,000 doses were administered in Ireland last week – an increase of 25% on the previous week’s total.

EACH WEEK WE’VE been taking a look at Ireland’s Covid-19 situation by examining and comparing data from previous weeks. Over the coming weeks we’ll be focusing on Ireland’s vaccine rollout.

With two months until the Government’s target date of giving 80% of adults in Ireland at least a first dose, let’s take a look at our progress. 

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A total of 1,417, 942 doses had been administered in Ireland as of Monday, according to the most recent HSE figures.

Some 25.9% of people over the age of 16 have had a first dose with 10.3% of adults fully vaccinated.

Over 180,000 doses were administered in Ireland last week – an increase of 25% on the previous week’s total. 

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The HSE this week continued Ireland’s rollout to people aged 65-69 with 63,802 people in this cohort having received a first dose of AstraZeneca. 

CEO Paul Reid said on Thursday that the HSE is examining advice from NIAC regarding AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson and said a revised 27th version of Ireland’s vaccine rollout plan will be ready early next week. 

The plan will be based on sequencing and progressing down through the ages, he said. 

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The NIAC guidance, which has been accepted by Government, included a recommendation that the vaccine should be offered earlier than planned to pregnant women between 14 and 36 weeks gestation.

NIAC also advised that both the Johnson & Johnson one-dose vaccine and the AstraZeneca jab should be used for those aged 50 and over.

“We don’t want to have a situation where we have vaccines left but not administered,” said Reid, who said indications of vaccine supply are “really strong” in late May heading into June.

He said the HSE is committed to meeting the volumes of supply that are coming. 

“We will mobilise our resourcing through all those vaccination channels to meet the supplies that are coming in,” said Reid. “Everybody in the HSE wants these administered as quickly as possible.”

The most up-to-date figures show a reliable supply of Pfizer-BioNTech doses coming in to Ireland – an average of 136,000 doses per week since early April. 

AstraZeneca – which is reserved for people aged between 50 and 69 – has also increased its supply from 14,400 doses in Week 14 to 36,000 doses in Week 15.

A total of 165,000 doses of AstraZeneca are due to arrive in Ireland today.

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This Saturday a GP-led clinic at the Helix vaccination centre in Dublin will administer 4,500 doses, primarily to those aged 70-79 who are due their second dose.

Next week, the target is to administer 220,000-240,000 vaccine doses. The HSE’s Reid said those aged 50-59 will be invited to register for their vaccines “shortly”, but said he could not provide a specific timeframe for this until after the current plans are revised.

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Meanwhile, a total of 1,708 new cases of Covid-19 were confirmed across Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday – compared to 1,810 new cases reported over the same period last week and 1,492 the previous week.

Ireland’s national incidence rate is 121 cases per 100,000 of the population on a 14-day rolling average, according to data from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre, compared to 118.1 this day last week and 119 on 16 April. 

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Looking at 14-day incidence rates in individual counties, Donegal is the county with the highest incidence of Covid-19 in Ireland at 288.3 cases per 100,000.

Kildare is the second-highest county in Ireland with a 14-day incidence rate of 209.9 while Offaly is third-highest at 191.1.

Looking at Local Electoral Area data, Ongar, Co Dublin is the area with the highest individual incidence of Covid-19 at 440.9 cases per 100,000.

For a breakdown of Covid-19 incidence rates in LEAs around Ireland, see here

Counties with the current lowest incidence rates include Kilkenny (26.2), Kerry (29.8) and Wexford (39.4). 

Looking to Europe, Ireland still has one of the lowest incidence rates among European countries, behind Malta (102) Finland (66) and Portugal (66)

European countries with the highest rate of Covid-19 include Cyprus (1221), Sweden (747) and France (652).

Cases in Irish hospitals continue to decline.

There were 14 hospital admissions in the last 24 hours and 18 discharges up to Thursday. 

There were – as of Thursday morning – 155 confirmed Covid-19 cases in hospital and 44 people in Intensive Care Units.

On Friday 20 March, there were 336 people hospitalised with Covid-19, reducing to 226 on 9 April and to 182 last Friday.

Approximately 119,000 tests have been carried out over the past 7 days up to Thursday – an increase of 9,000 per week since last week.

The positivity rate stands at 2.7% having stood at 2.8% last Friday and 3% three weeks ago.

With reporting by Michelle Hennessy 

About the author:

Cónal Thomas/Nicky Ryan

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