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One thousand people are registering for the Covid-19 vaccine daily, says HSE

Current ICU figures show that 52% of patients are not vaccinated.

Image: Sasko Lazarov

AN AVERAGE OF one thousand people per day are registering for the Covid-19 vaccine, according to the HSE which is launching a Halloween Covid vaccine information programme aimed at those who are not vaccinated or partially vaccinated.

Currently, 92.4% of people over the age of 18 are fully vaccinated, with 20,000 doses administered in the last week.

Damian McCallion, National Director Covid Vaccination Programme, said there was a slight increase in vaccine registrations yesterday with 2,500 people registering for their first dose.

HSE CEO Paul Reid said that the plan was to understand the reasons why people who have not yet been vaccinated haven’t signed up for one, and to inform and engage with those groups. Pregnant women, members of the Roma community and teenagers aged 12-15 were among the groups mentioned at today’s HSE press briefing.

So far in the booster campaign, 123,738 jabs have been administered to the over-80s and residents in care settings aged over 65. This target is to be complete by mid-November.

Speaking at this afternoon’s HSE press briefing, McCallion said that on average the HSE is seeing about one thousand people registering for the vaccine every day.

He said the HSE is hoping that messaging around unvaccinated people will get through to them and “we continue to see some increased movement on that”.

Current HSE figures for ICUs show that 52% of patients are not vaccinated, 41% are fully vaccinated and 5% are partially vaccinated.

Yesterday at a NPHET briefing, Professor Philip Nolan gave an example of two timeframes to show the difference vaccination makes  to Covid-19 hospitalisations.

Between 6 December 2020 – 19 June 2021, when most people would not have been fully vaccinated:

  • Positive Covid-19 cases: 194,340 (latter is 79% of the former)
  • Hospitalisations: 6,913 (55%)
  • ICU: 954  (45%)
  • Deaths: 2,808 (15%).

This compares with 20 June – 20 October 2021, when a large proportion of the population would have been fully or partially vaccinated:

  • Positive Covid-19 cases: 152,771 (79% of the above figure)
  • Hospitalisations: 3,807 (55% of the above figure)
  • ICU: 431 (45% of the above figure)
  • Deaths: 330 (15% of the above figure).

Since 27 June, 12 pregnant women have been admitted to ICU, 11 of those women were not vaccinated, and one woman had one vaccine dose.

To give people the “maximum opportunity to get vaccinated”, the HSE is planning to run a Halloween Covid-19 vaccine campaign.

McCallion said the people the HSE wants to reach are those who are in hesitant communities, women who have concerns about pregnancy and fertility, people who need easier access to a vaccine site, and all those will underlining conditions.

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“We know from our ICU consultants, many of those people in ICU who were unvaccinated had underlying conditions or medical conditions that made them medically vulnerable, such as obesity,” said McCallion.

“So it’s really important if you’re in those categories you come forward, because we can see the consequences for people.”

The information campaign will focus on facts and advice from various experts around vaccines, pregnancy and fertility in an effort to try and encourage those groups to come forward.

As well as TV and radio adverts, the HSE will also focus on advertising in small local electorate areas where the uptake has been “poor”.

“Digital Marketing, national press and video are really important as well in terms of information in multiple languages to target to particular groups where we know there have been some difficulties,” added McCallion.

HSE chief Paul Reid said it was not just one humongous group that they trying to reach.

With reporting from Gráinne Ní Aodha

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Adam Daly

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