HSE confirms almost a third of new Covid-19 cases over last two weeks were children 1 month ago

HSE confirms almost a third of new Covid-19 cases over last two weeks were children

“Under 18s are 32% of our case load in last 14 days."

The Health Service Executive (HSE) has confirmed that almost a third of new confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Ireland over the last two weeks were children.

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The National Lead for test and trace, Niamh O'Beirne, told Virgin Media News that 32% of cases reported over the last 14 days had been in people under age 18.

“Under 18s are 32% of our case load in last 14 days," she added.

It comes as HSE CEO Paul Reid said that some Covid-19 swabbing sites now have up to 25% positives on testing, with many counties at 10%.

"The more widespread it is in the community, the more it can breakthrough to those vaccinated. For a few weeks, let's all take care, aim to see this off and reduce illness," he said.

Reid said that younger age groups are the "new vulnerable groups" as they have yet to be vaccinated.

Speaking to Newstalk on Sunday, the HSE Chief asked younger cohorts to “mind themselves and protect themselves in the coming days and weeks" as Ireland's vaccine rollout continues to progress.

“They are the new vulnerable groups because they aren’t vaccinated,” he said.

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Reid also said that Ireland will start vaccinating children as soon as the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) gives the go-ahead.

NIAC has been considering whether or not to offer the Covid-19 vaccine to children for the past number of weeks. Meanwhile, Reid said that the health service is considering "all scenarios and options" at present.

He told Newstalk on Sunday that the HSE will be ready to implement the advice given by NIAC once they give their recommendations.

“First of all, we are waiting for recommendations from NIAC in terms of recommendations for 12 to 15-year-olds and how and when they should be administered," he said.

"Once we receive that advice, we will immediately put that into action - whether that is before schools return or post-schools return - we are looking at all options and from a HSE perspective, we will execute that once the advice comes.

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“We have a really good model running now and we are looking at all options to continue that down through the ages."