Ireland among top five EU countries for rolling out booster vaccines, says HSE
Nearly 900,000 boosters and third doses have been administered to date.
Ireland is among the top five EU countries for rolling out booster vaccines, according to HSE chief Paul Reid.
The CEO made the comments at a HSE briefing on Thursday (2 December) before 4,163 new cases of Covid-19 were confirmed in Ireland.
As of 8am on Thursday, 545 Covid-19 patients are hospitalised, of whom 117 are in intensive care units.
The @hpscireland has today been notified of 4,163* confirmed cases of #COVID19.
As of 8am today, 545 COVID-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 117 are in ICU.
*Daily case numbers may change due to future data validation.
— Department of Health (@roinnslainte) December 2, 2021
"Ireland is now in the top five of the EU countries for our rollout of boosters per head of population as of today," Reid said.
"As of yesterday evening, there are now 880,000 boosters and third doses administered over the past few weeks."
HSE CCO Dr Colm Henry also said Ireland was seeing a falling number of Covid-19 cases in those who have had access to boosters, particularly elderly age groups.
He stated this replicated what was seen in Israel, calling it a "cause for hope".
“What we’re seeing is a trend now which is certainly a cause for hope, which replicates what we saw in Israel, which of course is the country at the front in terms of administration of the booster vaccines," Henry explained.
“We’re seeing falling cases... in those older age groups.
“They dropped 14% in the 85+, almost 20% in 75 to 84s and 8% in 65 to 74s.
“So, a dropping number of cases in those over 65, and as you go upwards in age, an even greater drop in cases.”
He also said Ireland has seen a "sharp drop" in older age groups being hospitalised with Covid.
"We know from the Israeli studies, the booster vaccine led to a sharp drop in hospitalisations in those who received the booster vaccine, which should give us a great cause for hope, especially as we get right through those critical groups," Henry added.
Meanwhile, Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr Tony Holohan noted on Thursday that the additional efforts the population has made in recent weeks to adhere to public health measures are having a "positive impact".
"We are beginning to see stabilisation in a range of key indicators of incidence of Covid-19," the CMO said.
However, he added that while the progress is "very welcome", the level of disease in the community still remains a concern.
"Stabilisation is happening at too high a level," Holohan explained.
"The current high incidence is driven by the Delta variant, which, coupled with the presence of the Omicron variant, means that the trajectory of the disease remains uncertain."
Main image via Leah Farrell / Photocall Ireland