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Vaccine rollout: Ireland on track to give 80% of adults a first dose by 3 July

Almost 270,000 vaccines were administered in Ireland in the seven days up to Tuesday.

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 less than 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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More than 1.9 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines had been administered in Ireland as of Tuesday, according to the most recent HSE figures.

Some 36% of people over the age of 16 have had a first dose, with 13.2% fully vaccinated.

Almost 270,000 vaccines were administered in Ireland in the seven days up to Tuesday – an increase of 60,000 on the previous seven days. 

With just over six weeks until the Government’s 30 June target date for giving 80% of adults a first dose, recent improvements in the pace of the rollout puts the HSE on track to almost achieve this.

According to an analysis of the latest figures by The Journal, the 80% figure will be passed on 3 July, if the pace of the rollout continues to improve in line with expectations.

Even if no improvement is made, the 80% figure will be reached on 17 July at the current pace of vaccination.

This represents an improvement from our estimate last week of 9 July and 31 July respectively.

These figures are subject to change if the rollout falters or further improves.

Meanwhile, the most up-to-date delivery figures show that Ireland received 182,500 Pfizer-BioNTech doses last week and 32,400 Moderna doses.  

There were no Johnson & Johnson or AstraZeneca doses delivered last week. However Ireland received by far its largest delivery of AstraZeneca the previous week consisting of  174,800 doses.

The total number of doses due to arrive in Ireland across April, May and June is 4.5 million.

The HSE – target of a major ransomware attack on Friday – is still awaiting a decision from the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) on the future use of the J&J one-shot dose which we noted last week has presented a potential headache for Ireland’s rollout. 

The advice up to now has been to use this vaccine primarily for people over 50 but Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan has asked NIAC for updated advice in the context of a scenario where all people over 50 would be vaccinated to see how the J&J vaccine should then be used. 

Dr Holohan confirmed on Friday that he had received NIAC’s advice and will be writing to Health Minister Stephen Donnelly in the coming days. 

The National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) this week confirmed a total of 1,664 new Covid-19 cases between Monday and Thursday – compared to 1,647 new cases reported over the same period last week and 1,708 the previous week.

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Health officials have indicated Ireland needs four to five more weeks before vaccination makes a real dent in our Covid-19 rates, but certain counties remain problematic. 

Donegal’s 14-day incidence rate of 270 cases per 100,000 people last week – more than twice the national average of 129.7 – has reduced to 248.8 as of Friday. 

Kildare has Ireland’s highest incidence of Covid-19 at 253.3 followed by Donegal and Dublin (199.5). 

Milford, Donegal currently has the highest Covid-19 incidence in the country at 472 cases per 100,000 followed by Newbridge in Kildare (414) and Nenagh in Tipperary (379). 

Meanwhile, hospital figures nationally continue to fall with 99 cases of Covid-19 hospitalised, 36 of which are in ICU. 

Last Thursday morning there were 126 confirmed Covid-19 cases in hospital and 34 people in Intensive Care Units.

On Friday 20 March, there were 336 people hospitalised with Covid-19 in Ireland.

Approximately 129,000 tests have been carried out over the past 7 days up to Friday – an increase of 10,000 per week since last week.

The positivity rate currently stands at 2.4% having stood at 2.6% last Friday and 2.7% two weeks ago.

Looking to Europe, Ireland still has one of the lowest incidence rates among European countries, behind Norway (108), Finland (53) and Malta (52). 

European countries with the highest rate of Covid-19 include Cyprus (797), Lithuania (599) and Sweden (558). 

About the author:

Cónal Thomas & Nicky Ryan

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