Vaccines having real impact - CMO

The Chief Medical Officer has said that Covid-19 vaccines are having a real and meaningful impact.

Speaking at a Department of Health briefing, Dr Tony Holohan said that the vaccines are giving "real encouragement" and the more people get vaccinated, the more we can get back to normal.

He said the National Public Health Emergency Team is continuing to assess the progress that is being made and that the situation is improving in terms of disease transmission.

Dr Holohan also said that they would like to see travel resuming because enough people are getting vaccinated. He said that the public health advice remains for people not to travel abroad for a holiday unless they are fully vaccinated.

'Significant decline in indicators of disease'

The Chair of NPHET's Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group said that there has been a "significant decline in all indicators of disease" over the last two weeks.

Professor Philip Nolan said that the 14-day cumulative incidence rate is under 100 for the first time in "many, many weeks".

He said that they have gone from a 7-day moving average case count of between 400 and 450 down to 322 now which, he said, was a "significant fall".

Prof Nolan said there were over 60 people on average in hospital over the past week and just over 20 in intensive care and those numbers are also falling rapidly.

R number less than 1

Prof Nolan also said the incidence of Covid-19 in both primary and secondary school children has fallen significantly.

He said studies show that the decrease can be attributed to more people in the adult population being vaccinated.

However, he said that the incidence among people aged 18-24 is persistently high and "we need to keep on eye on that".

Prof Nolan said that the R (reproductive) number of the virus is now less than 1 and that the pandemic is now shrinking and has been over the last two weeks.

80% of Delta variant cases in Dublin

80% of the Delta (India) variant cases are in Dublin and the evidence suggests that it is slowing, according to Dr Tony Holohan.

He said that the measures for detection and reduction in its importation are working. Prof Nolan said tribute must be made to public health officials in keeping the number of Delta cases down

NPHET has said that the number of Delta variant cases in Ireland is 188.

Over 3.45m vaccine doses administered - Reid

The CEO of the Health Service Executive said more than 3.45 million Covid-19 vaccine doses have been administered.

Paul Reid said this is made up of over 2.3 million first doses, and nearly 1.2 million second doses.

In relation to the distribution of vaccines for people in the 35-39 age bracket, the HSE warned that it will take time to move through this cohort.

Damien McCallion, the HSE Lead for Covid-19 vaccination, said: "Given the numbers in that group and given the demand, you’re probably looking at a three to four week cycle for that. And then we’ll look at how that goes in terms of uptake and other factors as to when the 30-34s will open up as part of that group."

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