Ireland has “path to some level of normality” but “not out the woods yet”, says HSE Chief
Paul Reid said the vaccine rollout will help Ireland start to "rebuild society and the economy".
HSE CEO Paul Reid has said Ireland's progress in administering Covid-19 vaccines to the public is giving us "a glide path to some level of normality".
He made the comments during a HSE briefing on Thursday afternoon, following 1,408 new cases of Covid-19 being reported in Ireland on Wednesday.
However, it was also revealed that only 2% of cases are currently being hospitalised, which Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan attributed to the "great progress being made in taking up vaccination".
On vaccines, Reid said: "The pace, the progress and the uptake of the vaccination programme here in Ireland is no doubt a great exemplar all across Europe and probably in many parts of the world, in terms of uptake in particular.
"Aside from the health protections that it's offering to many people at the moment, the programme is also giving us all a glide path to some level of normality where we can start to rebuild society and the economy."
The HSE chief said 71% of the adult population of Ireland is fully vaccinated, while 86% are partially vaccinated.
However, he also stressed that the country is "not out of the woods" in terms of the Delta variant of the virus just yet.
"Today we're at 160 Covid positive patients in hospital, 26 in ICU," Reid said.
"Just over a month ago, there was just 39 people... in hospital.
"While the figures aren't alarming in themselves, they are a cause of continued concern for us as they continue to rise and rise at a time when we have significant pressures and stress on our hospitals."
Reid stated that young people, teenagers and children are "the new vulnerable" in terms of Covid-19.
"We all know more and more young people who are testing positive of late and how quickly that spreads to their siblings, their friends, their teammates, their sporting friends," the HSE chief added.
"As vaccinated adults, there's a real strong obligation on all of us to demonstrate the right public behaviours to support younger people in the final stretch as we try and aim to get them all vaccinated."