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Covid crisis Further 3,024 Covid-19 cases as nearly half those testing positive are fully vaccinated

Majority of cases still among the small minority of those still not jabbed against the virus


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A further 3,024 Covid-19 cases were confirmed today.

As of 8am today, 458 Covid-19 patients are hospitalised, of whom 90 are in ICU.

And nearly half the people who are now testing positive for Covid-19 are fully vaccinated, it emerged today.

But with 92.7pc of the adult population over the age of 18 fully vaccinated, the majority of cases are among the small minority of those still not jabbed against the virus.

Yesterday 3,714 people tested positive for the virus and the daily count could potentially reach 5,000 some time this month.

HSE chief Colm Henry said around 45pc of people getting the virus are fully vaccinated.

He said this was not a reflection on the effectiveness of the jab but due to more of the population being fully vaccinated.

Full vaccination provides strong protection against serious illness but a person can still pick up the virus although their risk is lower than someone unvaccinated.

Vaccinated people get fewer symptoms and recover more quickly, he said.

The majority of Covid-19 cases in the last two weeks were in the under 35s.

However the number of cases in the 35-64 year age group has been growing and now stands at 41.3pc of cases.

Earlier HSE chief Paul Reid said nearly one third of intensive care beds are occupied by Covid-19 patients.

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There are 458 patients with Covid-19 in hospital, a reduction of two from Wednesday.

The number in intensive care has risen by four to 90.

Some 250 Covid-19 patient who are very sick and not in intensive care are getting advanced breathing support.

There is "unrelenting pressure on the health service," he added with 3,500 staff out on Covid-19 related sickness.

He hoped the trend of recent days showing a stabilisation in hospital numbers would continue.

The Covid-19 admissions are having a major impact on non-Covid care and 21 hospitals have had to cancel many scheduled appointments in recent weeks.

The majority of hospitalisations in the last two weeks were aged over 65.

Asked about Christmas work parties this year he said it was a matter for each individual to make their own personal risk assessment to decide if they should attend or not.

Commenting on the roll out of booster shots of vaccine Damian McCallion who oversees vaccination said the administration of the shots to nursing home residents over 65 was more or less complete.

Some homes need to be revisited for various reasons including sickness.

Around 475,000 people have been identified in the 60-69 age group but they will not all get the booster until they are five or six months after their second dose.

The roll out of a booster shot to around 305,000 healthcare workers is to get underway and they will go to vaccination centres mainly with pharmacies brought on board later.

It will take around six weeks to complete all the health staff.

Among the group who have very weak immune systems some 81,000 out of up to 100,000 have been identified .48,000 have got their booster and 90,000 appointments have issued.

There are an estimated 161,000 over 80s and 142,000 of these have now got the booster with a target to complete their group at the end of November.

The roll out of boosters to people aged 70 to 79 begins this week and will involve 336,000 vaccinated by their GP over four to five weeks.

Another 475,000 60-69 year olds are eligible and their vaccination will also start from this week through vaccination centres with the aim to substantially complete them by the end of December.

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