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Vaxing times Coronavirus Ireland: Seven deaths and 1,372 new cases of Covid-19 as community vaccination for over 70s to begin

Over 70s will be the next group to be prioritised for the vaccine

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Vaccine (stock image)

Vaccine (stock image)

Vaccine (stock image)

A further seven people who contracted Covid-19 have died while a further 1,372 new cases of Covid-19 were announced this evening.

It's the third day in a row that the number of newly confirmed cases has been under 2,000.

All of the deaths occurred in January.

The median age of those who died is 77 years and the age range is 43-94 years.

It brings the total number of Covid-19 related deaths in Ireland to 2,977.

The announcement comes as the Department of Health revealed this evening that community vaccination is set to begin by the middle of February.

A total of 143,000 vaccine doses were administered by January 24.

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Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly TD has confirmed that the vaccination of the third group in the Government’s Vaccine Allocation Strategy will begin in February.

Under the Vaccine Allocation Strategy, people aged 70 and older will be vaccinated in the following order: 85 and older, 80-84, 75-79, 70-74.

Minister Donnelly confirmed Ireland is set to receive supplies of the AstraZeneca vaccine to enable community vaccination in February, subject to regulatory approval.

However, he noted that the supplies would be less than anticipated.

He revealed: "Ireland will receive a delivery of AstraZeneca vaccine within the expected range for February, although at the lower end of that range. Delivery in March is likely to be more impacted and considerably lower than what was originally stated by the company. We continue to prioritise those most vulnerable to COVID-19 in our society against the backdrop of limited supply of vaccines."

Minister Donnelly added: "The next stage of our vaccine programme will begin with those aged 85 years and older and will be administered initially through GPs in their surgeries. The HSE is preparing a public information campaign that will provide all necessary details in advance and ensure that everyone knows when, where and how to access their vaccine."

Today senior Government ministers are meeting to discuss mandatory quarantines for people travelling into Ireland without proof of being ­Covid-free and tighter north-south border Covid checks.

The Government is likely to bow to pressure for new rules on quarantine.

The Covid-19 ministers' sub-committee will try to recommend a strategy to boost the trend of lowering virus cases and ease near-breakpoint pressure on hospital services.

The major stumbling block remains how to deal with people travelling in from Northern Ireland, who could seriously undermine a Dublin government plan to oblige people landing here to have a certificate issued within the previous 72 hours showing themselves to be Covid-free.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has spoken with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson over the weekend about a "two islands" joint approach to the issue of people travelling in from overseas.

"But anything which might come of that remains to be seen," one government source said.

More to follow.

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