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Latest developments Coronavirus Ireland: 48 deaths and 1,254 new Covid-19 cases as AstraZeneca vaccine approved but concerns over supply

A 30-year-old was among those who died

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Dr Tony Holohan

Dr Tony Holohan

Dr Tony Holohan

A further 48 Covid-19 related deaths have occurred while 1,254 new cases of the virus confirmed by the Department of Health this evening.

According to health chiefs, 45 of newly confirmed deaths occurred in January 2021.

The median age of those who died is 82 years and the ages of the deceased ranged from 30-99 years.

It brings the Covid-19 death toll to 3,214* while the total number of confirmed cases now stands at 193,892*.

Validation of data at the Health Protection Surveillance Centre has resulted in the denotification of one death and seven confirmed cases.

These figures are reflected in the adjusted totals.

Of the cases notified today:

  • 587 are men / 658 are women
  • 54% are under 45 years of age
  • The median age is 42 years old
  • 437 are in Dublin, 146 in Cork, 76 in Meath, 69 in Wexford, 62 in Kildare and the remaining 464 cases are spread across all other counties

As of 2pm today, 1,518 Covid-19 patients are in hospital with 211 in ICU. There were 51 additional hospitalisations in the past 24 hours.

Meanwhile, earlier today it was confirmed the AstraZeneca Oxford vaccine has been approved for use in the EU, for all adults, including over 65s.

It is the third Covid-19 vaccine that has been authorised for use in the EU by European Medicines Agency (EMA), following the Pfizer/BioNtech and Moderna vaccines.

In a statement released today, the EMA said the “quality, safety, and efficiency” of the vaccine has been assessed and it has been approved for use in the EU, despite German authorities announcing they will not be vaccinating anyone over the age of 85 with the AstraZeneca vaccine.

However, Ireland is set to receive less doses of the AstraZeneca jab than expected, with a shortfall of around 300,000.

Brian MacCraith, head of the vaccine taskforce, said that it was expected Ireland would have 1.4 million vaccines by the end of March, enough to vaccinate 700,000 people.

But that will now be reduced to 1.1 million because the expected volume of supplies of the AstraZeneca vaccine will not materialise, the Oireachtas health committee was told.

It is expected that 190,000 doses of Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine will be delivered in February and 95,000 in March.

He said the expected 1.4 million doses by the end of March “has dropped to 1.1 million”, although that may change again.

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