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Health minister signs approval for Janssen vaccine as 272 patients in hospital with Covid-19

The number of hospitalisations is at its lowest point since Christmas Day.

Image: Sasko Lazarov/RollingNews.ie

THE NUMBER OF people in hospital with Covid-19 across the country has fallen again, after reaching what was then its lowest point this year yesterday.

According to latest data on the HSE Daily Operations website, there were 272 people being treated for Covid-19 in hospital as of 8pm last night.

It represents a drop from 290 people being treated for the virus in hospital on Tuesday night, and is the lowest such figure since Christmas Day.

As of 6.30pm last night, there were 64 people with Covid-19 in intensive care units, of whom 41 were receiving ventilation care.

Health officials last night confirmed a further 411 new cases of Covid-19, as well as six deaths linked to the virus.

Meanwhile, Health Minister Stephen Donnelly has revealed that he has signed the authorisation for use of Janssen’s Covid-19 vaccine – developed by Johnson & Johnson – in Ireland.

The first deliveries of the vaccine – a one-dose shot that does not require cold storage like those from Pfizer and Moderna – are expected in the next few weeks.

HSE CEO Paul Reid also confirmed yesterday that Ireland had exceeded four million Covid-19 tests since the beginning of the pandemic.

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It comes as seven new walk-in test centres for asymptomatic patients open from today, following the opening of four centres in Dublin and one in Tullamore (which are now closed) last week.

The new centres will open in Finglas and Balbriggan in Dublin and Navan in Co Meath today, with centres opening in Crumlin in Dublin, Naas in Kildare, Athlone in Westmeath and Ballinasloe in Galway from tomorrow.

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