53% of adults in Ireland have received first dose of Covid-19 vaccine

53% of adults in Ireland have received first dose of Covid-19 vaccine

Almost 2.9 million coronavirus vaccinations have now been administered in Ireland, the head of the Health Service Executive has confirmed.

Almost 2.9 million coronavirus vaccinations have now been administered in Ireland, the head of the Health Service Executive has confirmed.

Paul Reid said 53% of the adult population have had their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine.

Almost 900,000 people have received their second dose, which amounts to around 25% of the population.

The HSE is also assessing a recommendation to reduce the interval period between AstraZeneca jabs from 12 weeks to eight.

Mr Reid said a recommendation will be made to Health Minister Stephen Donnelly in the coming days on how the HSE will bring in any changes to the vaccine rollout.

He described it as "version 29" of the programme.

The HSE received a letter from chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan on Wednesday night about advice from the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC).

"One of the key considerations in this correspondence that we received is to give consideration to second dose again of AstraZeneca and consider the second dose being administered in an eight- to 12-week period," Mr Reid said.

"We're now assessing that correspondence and we're going to look at the modelling now of assessing how we would potentially move to that and assessing the impacts and assessing the opportunity it sets out for us."

Almost 132,000 Covid-19 tests were carried out last week, according to the latest figures.

Community referrals increased last week to almost 10% compared with the previous week.

However, the positivity rates remain low at around 3%, Mr Reid said.

Almost 2,000 swab tests have been carried out on staff and guests at the mandatory hotel quarantine facilities.

Of those, some 224 positive cases were detected.

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