Virus 'doesn't care' if people are fed up, CMO says as 1,491 cases confirmed

Virus 'doesn't care' if people are fed up, CMO says as 1,491 cases confirmed

"The virus does not become tired," said Dr Tony Holohan.

The Chief Medical Officer has warned that people cannot let their guard down when it comes to Covid-19 just because they have become tired of it.

"The virus does not become tired," said Dr Tony Holohan. "It doesn’t care if we are fed up, it only sees the opportunity to spread from person to person when we let our guard down."

His comments come as 1,491 cases of the virus have been confirmed. It is the second highest number of Covid-19 cases in over six months.

As of 8am this morning, there are 193 Covid patients in hospital - the highest since April - 28 are in ICU.

The CMO said while it is understandable that after such a long time people want things to return to something more normal they should still err on the side of caution.

People are advised to 'risk assess' their weekend plans. If they have any cold or flu-like symptoms, they should stay at home.

Those who have any of the symptoms should not meet up with other people and should not attend work.

Dr Holohan reminded employers that employees should be supported in working from home wherever possible.

While people may be feeling fed up when it comes to the pandemic, there is positive news when it comes to the vaccination roll-out.

Uptake of the Covid-19 vaccine is "extremely high" which public health officials say shows that people understand the benefits of getting vaccinated not only for themselves but for the entire community.

According to the latest data, over 90% of people over 40 have had at least one dose, in the over 30s the figure drops slightly to 84%.

Of those aged 18-29 years, 73% have received at least their first dose and in the 16-17 years age group, over 46% have had their first jab.

Dr Holohan said that the figures continue to increase adding that every person who comes forward to receive their vaccination should be commended.

The HSE has confirmed that it will run walk-in vaccination clinics this weekend after thousands queued up at clinics over the bank holiday weekend.

Vaccine registration for children aged 12-15 to open next week

“The registration for a Covid-19 vaccine for children and young people, age 12-15 will open next week,” Stephen Donnelly has said. File picture: Stephen Collins/Collins Photos
“The registration for a Covid-19 vaccine for children and young people, age 12-15 will open next week,” Stephen Donnelly has said. File picture: Stephen Collins/Collins Photos

Children aged 12 to 15 will be able to register for a Covid-19 vaccine from next week.

The portal will open on Thursday, August 12.

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly called on parents to seek reliable information from trusted sources.

“The registration for a Covid-19 vaccine for children and young people, age 12-15 will open next week,” he said.

“I’m encouraging parents and these young people to seek information from reliable sources such as the HSE website.” 

A 'great milestone' as Ireland reaches six-millionth Covid vaccine

The six-millionth Covid-19 vaccination has been administered this morning, in what the head of the Health Service Executive (HSE) calls a "great milestone" for the country.

By the end of Thursday, Ireland is also expected to have 75% of its adult population fully vaccinated.

In a tweet, Paul Reid said: "Huge thanks are due to the Irish public & everyone involved in delivering this vaccination programme."

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) called for a moratorium on booster shots to help ease the drastic inequity in vaccine distribution between rich and poor nations.

“We cannot accept countries that have already used most of the global supply of vaccines using even more of it, while the world’s most vulnerable people remain unprotected,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.

Speaking to Morning Ireland, Dr Enida Friel, head of monitoring, valuation and aid learning at aid agency Goal, said that the EU and US have essentially “priced out” the Covax campaign and vaccine campaigns in low-income countries.

“What the WHO is requesting is very modest, they only want a small moratorium until September and to vaccinate at least ten percent of the population of the low income countries,” she said.

Dr Mike Ryan, director of the WHO's Health Emergencies Programme
Dr Mike Ryan, director of the WHO's Health Emergencies Programme

“And I think the reason why the WHO is calling for this is really to draw attention to the stark vaccine inequity that we have right now. Which does not serve anybody.” 

Quoting Irish epidemiologist and director of the WHO's Health Emergencies Programme Dr Mike Ryan, she said “until we're all safe, nobody is safe.” 

In theory, Dr Friel said countries should be able to go-ahead with boosters and donate vaccines to poorer countries but “the reality is very different.” 

“There are reports for example that of all the mRNA vaccines that will be produced this year, have already been ordered by the US and Europe, so where does that leave the low, middle-income countries even for them to be able to order them?” 

Dr Friel said for every 100 people, African countries have only administered five doses whereas in Europe this figure is 88 doses per 100 people.

Dr Friel said it is imperative we help poorer countries to vaccinate more of their population: “If you stop infections, you are going to reduce the risk of variants emerging.” 

The longer we delay supplying vaccines to low-income countries, the greater the risk of vaccine hesitancy and misinformation, she added.

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