Ireland getting "very close to the end of the pandemic", says Immunology Professor 4 months ago

Ireland getting "very close to the end of the pandemic", says Immunology Professor

"Most of us will be protected by either vaccination or natural immunity through infection.”

Immunology Professor Paul Moynagh has said that Ireland is getting "very close to the end of the pandemic" and closer to moving to an "endemic phase".

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Moynagh, who is Professor of Immunology at Maynooth University, said that while the virus will still be "circulating in the background", most people will be "protected" via vaccination or natural immunity.

Moynagh told Newstalk Breakfast that things could be taking a positive turn in spite of increasing case numbers over the last number of weeks.

“A number of weeks ago, the projections were not very good, we were hearing very large numbers," he said.

“Now what we seem to be seeing is a decrease in the day-to-day increase we had been seeing. The percentage of those cases ending up in hospital is going down… the duration of hospital stays is going down.”

He added that Ireland and other countries in the UK and Europe could be getting close to the "end of the pandemic phase".

“I think we’re getting to the stage where a number of countries like ourselves, the UK and most countries in Europe - are getting very close to the end of the pandemic phase, and will probably move more into an endemic phase," he added.

“The virus will be circulating in the background, but thankfully most of us will be protected by either vaccination or natural immunity through infection.”

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Moynagh's comments come as 1,408 cases of Covid-19 were reported across Ireland on Wednesday, just 2% of which were hospitalised cases.

Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr Tony Holohan said on Wednesday that Ireland might be in a position "in the coming weeks" to move away from some economic and social Covid-19 restrictions.

During a Department of Health press briefing he said: "If we keep pushing on with the kinds of uptake rates we've seen in some of the older age groups, which by international standards are some of the best in the world, that gives us a lot of reason for optimism that the conditions that we think will need to be satisfied to allow us to move away from some of the restrictions that still remain in place could be met."