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Delta variant made up 20% of Ireland's Covid cases last week

Holohan said he was “concerned” by the latest data.

THE DELTA VARIANT of the Covid-19 virus is becoming more prevalent in Ireland and made up 20% of all of last week’s case numbers, it emerged this evening. 

Chief medical officer, Dr Tony Holohan, said those who are not fully vaccinated should remain extremely vigilant and still maintain all public health advice. 

Following the news that 284 new cases of Covid were reported to the HSE in the last 24 hours, Dr Holohan said he is “concerned” by the growth of the Delta variant here. 

“Today’s data show a concerning increase in transmission of the Delta variant in Ireland. We estimate that Delta accounts for up to 20% of cases reported in the last week. We have also seen a number of outbreaks associated with this variant reported in the last week.”

Holohan said what we are experiencing in Ireland is similar to what is happening in several other EU states.

For example, he cited the UK and said Delta has been the dominant strain for a number of weeks there, and now they are beginning to experience a rise in hospitalisations.

“It is really important that people who are not fully vaccinated continue to follow all public health advice. This includes people who are waiting for their second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

“People should take a vaccine when it is offered to them and in the meantime they should continue to avoid crowds, limit contacts, avoid meeting up indoors and work from home where possible.”

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Vaccine registration opened yesterday for people aged 35-39, and it is expected that this group will receive their first dose within three to four weeks.

The HSE is not expecting the vaccination programme to move into the 20-29 cohort until late August or the start of September, as it moves to a reliance on just two brands of vaccine.

From July, the vaccination programme will move to a supply line of just two vaccines – the Pfizer and Moderna jabs – as these are the only two vaccines approved for use here in younger people. 

According to the most recent figures, 61% of the adult population have received one dose and 31% are fully vaccinated.

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