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Almost 2.9 million Covid-19 vaccine doses administered so far in Ireland, HSE CEO says

The HSE is also considering recommendations on shortening the gap between doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

HSE CEO, Paul Reid
HSE CEO, Paul Reid
Image: Leah Farrell/Photocall Ireland

NEARLY 2.9 MILLION Covid-19 vaccine doses have been administered so far in Ireland, the HSE CEO has said.

Paul Reid said this amounts to two million first vaccine doses, about 53% of the adult population.

Almost 900,000 second doses have also been administered. This is approximately 25% of the adult population. The figures are accurate as of yesterday evening. 

Speaking at a press briefing this afternoon, Reid said the HSE is assessing correspondence in relation to a recommendation from the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) to reduce the gap between receiving both doses of the AstraZeneca Covid vaccine. 

The second dose of this vaccine is currently administered 12 weeks after the first. 

“We recently last evening received a letter correspondence from the CMO  on the basis of advice from NIAC,” Reid said. 

“One of the key considerations in this correspondence that we received is to give consideration for the second dose again, of AstraZeneca, and consider the second dose being administered in an eight to 12 week period.”

He said the HSE will assess the recommendation over the coming days and issue advice to the Health Minister “very shortly”. 

“We’re going to look at the modeling now of assessing how we would potentially move to that [shorter interval between doses], but assessing the impacts and assessing the opportunity it sets out for us,” Reid said.

He added that confirmation of AstraZeneca supplies in the coming weeks will be key to this consideration. 

Reid said around 300,000 Covid-19 vaccine doses were administered in total last week.

The reporting of vaccination data has been impacted by the HSE IT systems cyber attack which occurred almost three weeks ago.

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Reid said last night on Twitter that there are “brighter days ahead” with Covid-19 hospitalisations down to 80. The figure has increased today to 84. There are 30 Covid-19 patients in intensive care.

Reid said the country is “a long way from the dark days of January of over 2,000 in hospital & 200 in ICU.”

The vaccine booking portal opened today for people aged 43 and over, with registration opening to people aged 40-42 in the coming days. 

- Additional reporting by Orla Dwyer.

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