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4.3 million vaccines HSE chief Paul Reid says half of country fully vaccinated, while 68pc have at least one jab

68 pc of adults are partially vaccinated, while 48 pc are fully vaccinated

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HSE chief Paul Reid has said almost 4.3 million Covid-19 vaccines have been administered in Ireland to date.

Sharing on Twitter today, Mr Reid said the country should plan for the Delta variant with “concern”, adding that a level of confidence is needed to combat the variant.

Mr Reid shared that to date, over 2.56 million (68 pc) adults have been partially vaccinated, and over 1.8 million (48 pc) are fully vaccinated.

He said over 55,000 vaccines have been administered on each of the last four days, and over 272,000 vaccines have been administered this week.

On Friday the Department of Health reported 512 new cases of Covid-19. There were 46 people in hospitals with the virus, with 14 of those in ICU.

Meanwhile, yesterday the Tanaiste Leo Varadkar said he believes there is “no reason to believe” a fourth lockdown in on the way due to the Delta Variant.

The Tanaiste insisted that the ramping up of the vaccination programme and keeping current restrictions in place would be enough to stop a fourth wave.

He added that vaccinations for teenagers may be available in September when schools and colleges reopen and all adults have been vaccinated.

Yesterday, in an effort to speed up the vaccine roll-out, Taoiseach Micheál Martin held talks with the Romanian President Klaus Iohannis to purchase one million unwanted Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

The 700,000 Pfizer and 300,000 Moderna doses are expected to arrive into Ireland as soon as possible amid warnings from Nphet that a fourth wave of Covid-19 is on the way.

This week Chief Medical Officer Tony Holohan warned that the surge of Covid-19 cases triggered by the Delta variant would hit in August and September and would be unstoppable.

“It’s a question of when rather than if,” he said, adding, “We are facing a significant wave of Delta-driven transmission. We are in the same position as all the rest of western Europe.”

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Yesterday the government announced an “opt-in” plan for the 18-34 age group to register for vaccines in pharmacies from Monday, and online on the HSE portal from July 12.

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly said supplies of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine could be used on the age cohort from Monday through 750 pharmacies across the country.

The Minister said opening up vaccinations for the younger age cohort would be a “huge benefit to both young people and society as a whole” in a move to combat the Delta variant.

Meanwhile, Registrations for the 30- 34 age group will also open from next week. From Friday, those aged 34 will be able to register on the HSE online portal.

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