92% of adults vaccinated but children aged 5-12 'unlikely' to get their jab this year

92% of adults vaccinated but children aged 5-12 'unlikely' to get their jab this year

Annie Lynch was one of Ireland's first Covid vaccine recipients in the progamme. Picture: Marc O'Sullivan

Ireland has now fully vaccinated 91.4% of adults, aged 18 or older, according to latest figures published by the High-Level Task Force on Covid-19 Vaccination. 

90.5% of the total eligible population, aged 12 or older, has received at least one vaccine leaving Ireland's vaccination rate one of the highest in Europe. 

Nearly 7.3 million vaccine doses have been administered since the programme rollout began back on December 26, 2020 and the Taoiseach Micheál Martin led the praise for the collective effort. 

Speaking after the conclusion of the forty-fourth meeting of the High-Level Task Force, Mr Martin said the vaccines "have been key to protecting our communities, our health service and to allowing for the safe and steady re-opening of society".

Thanking the group for their work, the Taoiseach said the combined effort of all involved led the country into a new stage of managing the pandemic. 

Mr Martin also recalled the first vaccination given to Dublin grandmother, Annie Lynch in his remarks. 

"Close to 7.3 million doses have been administered in Ireland since the first dose was given to grandmother Annie Lynch on December 26, a little over nine months ago.

“91.4% of the adult population are now fully vaccinated and these vaccinations have been key to protecting our communities, our health service and to allowing for the safe and steady re-opening of society.

 "On behalf of the Government and the Irish people, I want to thank Professor Brian MacCraith and all the members of the Task Force for their dedication in helping deliver one of the most successful and efficient Covid-19 vaccination programmes in the world.

“The Task Force, working alongside the HSE’s community and hospital vaccination teams, GPs, pharmacies, doctors, nurses, paramedics, nursing home staff and other healthcare professionals and volunteers, have played a significant role in protecting our elderly relations our friends, the medically vulnerable, our frontline health care workers, and society in general.

“The combined effort saw us through the emergency phase of the pandemic and into this next phase of managing Covid-19,” he said.

Children's vaccine targets

Members of the task force included Chairman Professor Brian MacCraith, Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly, HSE CEO Paul Reid, Programme Director Derek Tierney, and Liz Canavan from the Department of the Taoiseach. 

Meanwhile, the Minister for Health says children aged 5 to 12 will likely not be vaccinated this calendar year.

"We're looking at that at the moment, no recommendation has come in on that. The conversation from the Chief Medical Officer is that we wouldn't expect anything like that in this calendar year," Mr Donnelly said.

The minister said it would be kept under "close review".

Mr Donnelly said the ending of contact tracing in primary school-age children has been taken after much discussion between him and the Chief Medical Officer, Dr Tony Holohan.

"Of course people will always feel anxious but this is based on very very considered advice on public health experts," Mr Donnelly said.

"The decision has been made under the very best advice from the National Public Health Emergency Team... the recommendation is coming because of such encouraging results from the schools.

"We had huge numbers of schools go back and we're seeing the rate of infection is falling and positivity remains low."

Latest case data 

The National Immunisation Advisory Committee (Niac) is now considering other age groups for booster jabs after the over-80s and those in residential care settings over the age of 65 will begin to receive their third jabs this week.

The latest vaccination data comes as Department of Health officials have identified 1,049 cases of Covid-19 this afternoon bringing the total number of cases since outbreak began to 384,677 confirmed cases. 

Hospitalised patients with the coronavirus number 310 with 66 of those people receiving treatment in intensive care (ICU). 

No details of Covid-related fatalities were published today as this is now released on a weekly basis since the HSE cyberattack. 

At last count the death toll from the virus stood at 5,209 as of last week on September 22. 

All case data is subject to future validation according to the department. 

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