HSE CEO says there are "very significant steps to be taken" before vaccine is available 2 months ago

HSE CEO says there are "very significant steps to be taken" before vaccine is available

We're being urged not to get ahead of ourselves just yet.

The CEO of the HSE has said that there are still "very significant steps to be taken" before a Covid vaccine is available in Ireland.

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Speaking at a weekly health briefing, Paul Reid said that while the news of a potential vaccine is positive, the public should not get distracted and should remain focused.

"We are still living with a very dangerous virus in the community, and are likely to be for some time," he said.

"We want to acknowledge from the HSE's perspective that very significant steps still have to happen before we would see the availability of a vaccine.

Reid was speaking in relation to news that the EU Commission had signed a contract for 300 million doses of the BioNTech-Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine.

He also confirmed that, as of Thursday morning, there are 287 people are in hospital for cases related to Covid-19, while 39 people are in ICUs across the country.

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Reid said that the hospitalisation figures have stabilised, but that the HSE have not seen the reduction they would like to see.

The average length that a patient who is hospitalised with Covid stays in hospital is 17.7 days in Ireland, Reid also confirmed.