'Large majority' of over 85s will have received first Covid vaccine by Sunday, minister says

Stephen Donnelly said 520,000 vaccines have been delivered to Ireland so far, with more expected over the coming days
'Large majority' of over 85s will have received first Covid vaccine by Sunday, minister says

Mr Donnelly said 520,000 vaccines have arrived in to the country and by the end of the week a total of 500,000 will have been administered. File Picture: Leah Farrell / RollingNews.ie

The "large majority" of people over the age of 85 will have received their first Covid-19 vaccine by Sunday, the Health Minister has confirmed.

Stephen Donnelly said 520,000 vaccines have been delivered to Ireland with more expected in the coming days.

He acknowledged that healthcare staff are "exhausted" but said the "good news is that the pressure has eased" in our hospitals.

Mr Donnelly also told the Oireachtas Health Committee that solutions are being put in place to vaccinate vulnerable people who are bedbound.

He said some people over the age of 85 may not be vaccinated by the end of the weekend as they are physically unable to attend their GP or a vaccination hub, but he said measures will be put in place to solve this issue.

I think the good news for this week is that the forecast is that by the end of this week we will have administered over 500,000 vaccine doses.

Fine Gael Senator Seán Kyne pointed out that a number of islands have yet to receive doses for residents.

Mr Donnelly said the air corps has been directly involved in delivering vaccines to some islands, but said he would look further into the issue.

Social Democrats co-leader Róisín Shortall said there seems to be a significant difference between the number of vaccines delivered and the total number of doses administered.

She asked that daily updates for both figures be provided.

Mr Donnelly said 520,000 vaccines have arrived in to the country and by the end of the week a total of 500,000 will have been administered.

294,550 people have received their first dose, while 141,345 people have received their second dose and are fully vaccinated.

Lowest one-day case total reported since Mid-December

 Deputy CMO, Dr Ronan Glynn: 'Please hold firm to the public health advice and together we can continue to protect and build on the progress we have made over the last 2 months.' Picture: Sasko Lazarov/RollingNews.ie
Deputy CMO, Dr Ronan Glynn: 'Please hold firm to the public health advice and together we can continue to protect and build on the progress we have made over the last 2 months.' Picture: Sasko Lazarov/RollingNews.ie

Meanwhile, the 359 new Covid-19 cases were confirmed by health officials this evening - the lowest number reported in a single day since mid-December.

Fourteen additional deaths were also reported - three from this month, ten from February and one more from November 2020.

The country’s Covid-19 death toll now stands at 4,333.

220,630 cases have been recorded here since the pandemic began.

In a statement this evening, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Dr Ronan Glynn said that the low number of cases reported today "may be attributable to a weekend effect." 

Nevertheless, he said the drop in case numbers was "very welcome and represents the lowest number of cases reported on a single day since mid-December."

The Deputy CMO said that while Ireland continued to make progress as regards daily case numbers, the number of cases of Covid-19 cases globally had increased for the first time in seven weeks this week.

"We must not allow this virus the opportunity to do the same here. Please hold firm to the public health advice and together we can continue to protect and build on the progress we have made over the last 2 months," he said.

Of the cases notified today, the median age was just 34. 159 of the cases were located in Dublin, 25 were in Westmeath and 21 more were recorded in both Louth and Galway.

Just 15 of the new cases are located in Cork.

The national 14-day incidence rate of the virus here is now 201.1 per 100,000 population.

The seven-day incidence rate is 91.4, and the five-day moving average is 633.

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