The Health Protection Surveillance Centre has today been notified of 9 additional deaths related to Covid-19.
There has been a total of 2,213 Covid-19 related deaths in Ireland.
As of midnight Monday 28th December, the HPSC has been notified of 1,546 confirmed cases of Covid-19. There is now a total of 88,439 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Ireland.
Of the cases notified today: 444 were in Dublin, 203 are in Cork, 111 in Louth, 87 in Limerick, 85 in Donegal and the remaining 616 cases are spread across all other counties.
As of 2pm today, 411 Covid-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 34 are in ICU. There were 47 additional hospitalisations in the past 24 hours.
Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health said: “We have reached a significant milestone in our collective response to the Covid-19 pandemic in Ireland, with the launch of our national vaccination programme. To see the first recipients of the vaccine gives us hope for better times ahead, particularly for those of us who are the most vulnerable to the virus, including those over 70 and with underlying medical conditions. The vaccination programme will focus on the priority groups in line with the recent decisions of Government in the first instance.
“As the vaccination programme rolls out, particularly given the increasing spread of the disease and the concerning rise in the number of hospitalisations – up to 411 today – we each need to remember to remain vigilant to the ongoing risk of the spread of Covid-19 and follow the public health advice in our everyday lives.
"Following the public health advice is our only means to suppress the spread of the virus in the community. You are protecting yourself and your family from this highly infectious virus every time you wash your hands, wear a face covering, keep a 2m distance, reduce your social contacts and stay at home if you feel unwell.”
Rachel Kenna, Chief Nursing Officer, Department of Health said: “It is really great to see the Covid -19 vaccination programme commence today following the specific training for this significant vaccination programme. Many nurses and midwives are trained vaccinators and alongside their colleagues including hospital doctors, GPs, public health, pharmacists and allied health colleagues will play a significant role in delivering a safe, patient centred approach to the programme.
“Many nurses and midwives will be among the first to receive the vaccine so we can continue to provide care to all our patients. It is vital however to support them and all our frontline staff by continuing to adhere to the public health measures advised as the vaccine programme rolls out.”