Number of Covid patients in hospital dips below 100 

HSE CEO Paul Reid said the decline in hospital numbers is "a clear demonstration that the vaccine programme has for now broken the link from daily cases to sickness, hospitalisations, ICU and mortality".
Number of Covid patients in hospital dips below 100 

The new figures come on the day the vaccine rollout is expected to pass the two million milestone.

The number of people in hospital with covid 19 has dropped to 99 tonight.

It is the first time the number has fallen below 100 since September 23.

HSE CEO Paul Reid says the number of people in intensive care is 36.

Mr Reid said the decline in hospital numbers is "a clear demonstration that the vaccine programme has for now broken the link from daily cases to sickness, hospitalisations, ICU and mortality".

The new figures come on the day the vaccine rollout is expected to pass the two million milestone.

The HSEs National Lead for Vaccination Programme Damien McCallion said they are committed to maximising the vaccine and hitting all of the targets set by the Government.

"The challenges we are facing week on week are well documented around the supply challenge and we are currently awaiting some guidance from Niac," said Mr McCallion.

The HSE has said it is anxious to get the National Immunisation Advisory Committee's (Niac) revised advice regarding the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.

The committee is considering lowering the age restriction on the vaccine, which can currently only be issued to over 50s.

At the moment the one-dose jab is only recommended for use in over 50s but the HSE has called for greater flexibility in who can receive it. A a decision expected this week.

Immunovirology Professor Liam Fanning said a decision must be made urgently to ensure the country gets the most out of its vaccine deliveries.

"I would like to see, once and for all, a decision from Niac," said Prof Fanning.

"The data is in. There is very little extra evidence that is going to come in with regards to risk profiles and all that.

"One clear message and it will give Paul Reid and his team an opportunity to maximise the delivery of vaccines to everybody."

This evening, 456 new cases of Covid-19 were confirmed along with no new deaths.

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