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'We're not there yet': Continued vaccine push as Covid cases in hospital increase over weekend

Cases in hospital increased from 250 on Friday evening to 320 yesterday evening.

Professor Philip Nolan, chair of the NPHET's modelling group.
Professor Philip Nolan, chair of the NPHET's modelling group.
Image: Sam Boal

NPHET’S HEAD OF modelling Professor Philip Nolan has urged people to complete their vaccination regimen and to give it the appropriate time to take full affect.

His call comes as the number of Covid-19 cases in hospital increased sharply over the weekend, from 250 on Friday evening to 320 yesterday evening. 

Health authorities have been cautioning about increased Covid-19 infections, with more than 2,000 cases confirmed on two seperate days last week and Ireland having among the highest incidence in the EU

Speaking on today’s Morning Ireland, Nolan said that Ireland was “not there yet” in terms of the level of vaccinations required to see a decrease in cases. He added that continuing vaccination should see levels reach that point next month. 

“A little over 90% of the adult population have registered for a vaccine and received at least a first shot, so that’s great news. In the next three or four weeks they’ll receive their second dose and two weeks after that, that have achieved a very high level of immune protection,” he said. 

But that means we’re not there yet, we have this very high level of vaccine protection coming, vaccines have already protected a huge swathe of our society and in particular the older and the vulnerable, but in terms of protecting, or offering a high level of protection against the spread of the disease, we’re really not there yet.We should reach that in the course of September. We should at that point have, by international standards, a very high level of protection. And from that point the number of infections in the population should start to slowly decline. And then over time, the risk of catching or spreading this disease, the risk of becoming ill with it is already quite low, but the risk of catching or spreading the disease should reach its lowest points in the course then of September, October, November, December. 

As of last night at 8pm, Irish hospitals were dealing with 320 cases of Covid-19 with 59 Covid-19 patients in ICU. 

Nolan said this morning that many people who have been in ICU with Covid-19 in recent months were eligible for a Covid-19 vaccine but had not received one. 

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“In terms of intensive care, we’ve had about 200 admissions to intensive care between April and now. Three-quarters of those had no vaccination, only about one in 20, or 5%, were 14 days beyond completing their vaccination regimen. So 19 out of 20 people that were admitted to ICU over the past several months had no vaccination or were partially vaccinated, and the vast majority of those were eligible for vaccination,” he said.

Nolan also said that there has been an increase in the number of people under 45 with Covid-19 being admitted to hospital, with some of those being admitted to ICU “and having quite a difficult course in intensive care”.

Nolan said that most of those younger people had underlying conditions and he again called on people to register for a Covid-19 vaccine if their are not already protected.

About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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