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Saturday 9 December 2023 Dublin: 11°C

Number of people in hospital with Covid-19 tops 1,000 for the first time in three months

It comes as the EU recommends that people over 60 be offered a second booster vaccine.

LAST UPDATE | Jul 11th 2022, 10:13 AM

THE NUMBER OF people in hospital with Covid-19 has topped 1,000 for the first time since April.

Some 1,055 people were in hospital with the virus at 8am this morning.

The numbers come as the EU issues a recommendation that second booster rollouts be expanded to over-60s.

Hospital numbers are typically higher on Mondays as patients tend not to be discharged over the weekend.

Last week, interim Chief Medical Officer Dr Breda Smyth said that Ireland is now in a mitigation phase of efforts to stem the spread of Covid.

With the virus widespread, it’s no longer necessary to try and identify every single case, she said.

“The population has very high protection through the vaccination programme. Because of that, it’s really the more vulnerable that we want to protect now in our population.”

The National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) is considering whether people under 65 should be invited to get a second booster shot of the Covid-19 vaccine.

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) are now recommending that second booster doses of Covid vaccines be considered for people between 60 and 79 years old and people with medical conditions putting them at high risk of severe disease.

Stella Kyriakides, the European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety said today: “Our Covid-19 vaccines work, and offer good levels of protection against severe illness and hospitalisation.

“With cases and hospitalisations rising again as we enter the summer period, I urge everybody to get vaccinated and boosted as quickly as possible. There is no time to lose.

“I call on member states to roll out second boosters for everyone over the age of 60 as well as all vulnerable persons immediately and urge everyone eligible to come forth and get vaccinated. This is how we protect ourselves, our loved ones and our vulnerable populations.”

The two EU bodies said that there is currently no clear evidence to support giving a second booster dose to people below 60 years of age who are not at higher risk severe disease.

Similarly, there is no clear evidence to support giving early second boosters to healthcare workers or those working in long-term care homes, unless they are at high risk.

Former Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan said last week that hospitals are likely to come under “considerable pressure” as more people are admitted with Covid

In his final report to the Minister for Health, Holohan said that the acute hospital system remains under considerable pressure due to the virus, and their capacity to carry out other procedures may be compromised.

Work is currently underway to adapt vaccines for the Omicron variants of concern.

Emer Cooke, the executive director. ofthe EMA, sai today: “We are working towards possible approvals of adapted vaccines in September.

“Our human medicines committee is currently reviewing data for two adapted vaccines.

“In the meantime, it is important to consider using currently authorised vaccines as second boosters in people who are most vulnerable. Authorised vaccines in the EU continue to be effective at preventing hospitalisations, severe disease and deaths from COVID-19, even as new variants and subvariants continue to emerge.”

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