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26 May 2022

Taoiseach gives positive update after 'phenomenal' day in Covid-19 booster rollout

Taoiseach gives positive update after 'phenomenal' day in Covid-19 booster rollout

Taoiseach gives positive update after 'phenomenal' day in Covid-19 booster rollout

Taoiseach Micheal Martin has given a positive update on Ireland's Covid-19 booster vaccine campaign.

The rollout has been ramped up in the last couple of weeks given fears over the spread of the Omicron variant and the Taoiseach said there was a "phenomenal effort" in that rollout on Wednesday.

109,000 vaccine doses were administered in Ireland on Wednesday, including 106,000 boosters.

"That’s 303,000 vaccines in just three days," Micheal Martin said.

"We’ve now administered 1.87m boosters and third doses. Thanks again to the Irish public and all our vaccinators this Christmas."

Ireland is on track to have two million people boosted before Christmas day with the younger cohorts to receive clarity this week on when they will get their third jab.

A number of studies in the UK have suggested Omicron is almost two-thirds less likely to land a positive case in hospital than Delta but it appears the new variant is 5.5 times more transmissible than the previous strain. 

HSE Chief Paul Reid has said, however, that the Omicron variant will pose a “significant challenge” to an already stretched health system.

Mr Reid issued a warning on Wednesday ahead of what he called another “surreal” festive period.

“We are actually heading into January next year with a much higher level of demand on our resources, on our healthcare, across the board.”

The health chief warned that healthcare workers are “apprehensive, anxious and understandably, probably fearful of what they will head into again in the January period”.

With days to go until Christmas, and tough new restrictions already in place, Mr Reid appealed to people to follow the public health advice.

According to the latest figures, 53% of people in hospital with Covid-19 are not fully vaccinated.

Latest figures on Thursday show that the number of patients in hospital with Covid-19 has fallen below 400 for the first time since October.

Mr Reid also said that 54% of those in intensive had not been vaccinated.

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