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Coronavirus Ireland 33 deaths and 744 new cases of Covid-19 as Johnson & Johnson apply for European authorisation of one-shot vaccine

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Dr Tony Holohan (Brian Lawless/PA)

Dr Tony Holohan (Brian Lawless/PA)

Dr Tony Holohan (Brian Lawless/PA)

There have been 33 further deaths of people with Covid-19 and 744 new cases of the virus confirmed by the Department of Health this evening.

31 of these deaths occurred in February and two in January. The median age of those who died was 81 years and the age range was 42-105 years.

This takes the number of people who have died with Covid-19 to 3,980 while the total case count in Ireland has now risen to 211,113.

Latest vaccination figures released by the Department of Health show there have been 268,551 doses administered; 176,926 first doses and 91,625 second doses.

There have been 301 new cases confirmed in Dublin, 77 in Galway, 37 in Waterford, 36 in Offaly, 32 in Kildare and the remaining 261 cases are spread across all other counties.

As of 8am today, 861 Covid-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 159 are in ICU. There have been 51 additional hospitalisations in the past 24 hours.

Of the cases notified today; 373 are male and 366 are female; 68pc are under 45 years of age and the median age is 31 years old.

The national 14-day incidence rate has fallen to 269.3 while Offaly (377.1) is now the county with the highest rates of infection.

Dublin (361.9), Galway (342.9) and Waterford (321.9) are the other counties that have an incidence above 300 per 100,000.

The national 5-day moving average of new cases currently sits at 870.

Earlier today, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) confirmed it had received an application from Johnson and Johnson for authorisation for its one-dose Covid-19 vaccine.

The EMA said a decision on the vaccine could be made as early as mid-March. Ireland has advanced purchase orders for 2.2m doses of the vaccine through EU negotiations.

This is the fourth vaccine to be vetted by the EMA, after the Moderna, Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/Astrazeneca vaccines were all granted authorisation.

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Due to the fact the J&J vaccine requires just one shot per person, it could see Ireland’s vaccination programme accelerate from April onwards, as long as the drug is cleared by the EU drug regulator.

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