There have been 1,423 new cases of Covid-19 reported by the Department of Health this afternoon.

286 people with Covid-19 are receiving treatment in hospitals around the country, down 11 from yesterday.

63 of these patients are being treated in intensive care units, unchanged since yesterday.

Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan said in a statement today that vaccines are providing "very effective protection" from severe illness and had "fundamentally changed the risk profile of Covid-19 in Ireland".

"It is important that all of us receive our COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it is available to us," he said.

"If you display cold or flu like symptoms like cough, fever, headache, sore throat and blocked or runny nose, self-isolate immediately. Please do not meet up with others or attend events, work or school. Arrange a PCR test through the HSE as soon as possible."

The incidence of Covid-19 per 100,000 of the population over the past two weeks has fallen to 390, according to latest figures.

Earlier this month, the rate was over 450 cases for every 100,000 people.

Current figures show there are 286 patients being treated for Covid-19 in hospital, with 63 of these in ICU. A decrease of two on yesterday's figures.

Over 90% of people aged 16 years and older are now fully vaccinated and 86.8% of those aged 12 years and older have been fully vaccinated.

Ireland has the highest percentage uptake of full vaccination among adults over 18 years of age in the EU, according to the European Centre for Disease Control.

The country is just ahead of Malta and Denmark.

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An immunologist has said while she expects the incidence of Covid-19 in the general population to continue to decline, she is concerned about the high level of infection among school-going children.

Professor of Immunology and Associate Dean for Research at DCU Christine Loscher said children under 12 are outliers in case numbers at the moment.

Speaking on RTÉ's Today with Claire Byrne, Prof Loscher said there are "other risks of Covid that we tend to overlook because mostly children do very well, they don't sometimes get even very severe symptoms, but we are seeing a lot of studies - particularly in the last month or two - that have shown definitively a real impact of long Covid in children".

She said Ireland is doing well overall however, with the incidence rate and the five-day day moving average declining for the first time since the Delta surge started.