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Hospitalisations fall below 900 as Ireland 'on the right side of the curve now' ahead of further vaccine rollout

People aged 85 and over will begin receiving a Covid-19 vaccine from Monday.

A home care assistant receives a vaccine in the Helix in DCU.
A home care assistant receives a vaccine in the Helix in DCU.
Image: Marc O'Sullivan

THE NUMBER OF people in hospital with Covid-19 today has fallen to 898 – less than half of the peak reached last month – along with 169 in an intensive care unit.

This morning, HSE CEO Paul Reid provided the figures and called them “further welcome news for many patients and families”. 

He said: “Both numbers are still higher than our peak last April but we get a good sense that we’re on the right side of the curve now.”

Public health officials have stressed this week that Ireland appears to have passed the peak of cases, hospitalisations and deaths during this third wave of Covid-19.

They have, however, stressed caution be taken and that it’ll take some time before case numbers are at an acceptable level to begin to re-open the country again. 

This weekend, frontline healthcare workers such as GPs and nurses will continue to receive a Covid-19 vaccine ahead of the rollout of the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines to people over the age of 85 from Monday. 

It is expected it will take a number of weeks for everyone within this cohort to receive the first dose of vaccine. Once they’re completed, those aged between 80-84 will receive a vaccine next, followed by 75-79s and 70-74s.

Health authorities hope that everyone over the age of 70 can be fully vaccinated – having received two doses – by mid-May. 

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Yesterday, HSE chief clinical officer Dr Colm Henry said that the vaccine rollout must reach every road in Ireland as the next phase is set to begin.

“We’ve been working hard with the GP community over the past few weeks to address this priority group number three,” he said.

“We want to move beyond the work we’ve done in the residential care facilities, move beyond as we complete the vaccination of frontline health care workers to this older group.

“For a couple of weeks now, to finalise this rollout, we are using the intelligence of the GP community, using the advocacy they have and using the engagement they have with older patients.”

About the author:

Sean Murray

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