Department of Health confirms an additional 1,408 new Covid cases; median age of cases is 24

Department of Health confirms an additional 1,408 new Covid cases; median age of cases is 24

Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health pictured this afternoon at a Covid -19 update press conference at the Department of Health. Picture: Paddy Cummins /Collins Dublin

There have been 1,408 new cases of Covid-19 in Ireland as of midnight last night, the Department of Health has confirmed.

In a Tweet this afternoon, the Department also confirmed that daily case numbers may change due to future data validation.

As of 8am today, 152 Covid-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 26 are in ICU.

Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer at the Department of Health, said currently, 2% of cases are being hospitalised.

"We know that we would be experiencing many more cases and hospitalisations were it not for the great progress being made in taking up vaccination.

"We need to keep this up as we move to vaccinate the remaining, mostly younger, cohorts of our population," he said.

Dr Holohan implored those in a position to avail of the vaccine to do so.

"The more people vaccinated in this country, the less opportunity Covid-19 has to inflict severe illness and disruption on us.

"If you are eligible for a Covid-19 vaccination and have yet to register, please do so as soon as possible.

"If you are waiting to be fully vaccinated, please continue to follow the public health advice; manage your social contacts, meet outdoors, stay 2m apart, wear masks, wash/sanitise hands regularly and avoid non-essential travel abroad.

"If you are experiencing symptoms of cold and flu: headache, sore throat, runny nose, stay at home and get tested as soon as possible for Covid-19," he said.

Median age of today's cases

Professor Philip Nolan, Chair of the NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group, said the median age of today's cases is 24.

"The current trajectory of the more transmissible Delta variant across the country means that unvaccinated people remain at high risk of contracting Covid-19.

"The pace at which our vaccination programme is operating means that it will not be long before you can avail of a vaccine.

"In the meantime, unvaccinated people should take all public health precautions to avoid contracting the disease," he said.

Currently, 90% of all cases are caused by the more transmissible Delta variant.

Appeal to people to avail of the vaccine

Dr Ronan Glynn, Deputy Chief Medical Officer at the Department of Health, said vaccination is having a "very positive impact" on the risk profile of Covid-19 in Ireland.

"As more people get fully vaccinated we can expect to see a higher proportion of cases in fully vaccinated people.

"This does not mean that vaccines are not working and, for those who have been fully vaccinated, their risk of severe illness or hospitalisation as result of Covid-19 is much lower than if they had not been vaccinated.

"It is vital that as many people as possible take the opportunity to get vaccinated in the weeks ahead – both for their own protection and for the protection of their families and friends.

"Walk-in centres for vaccination will open this weekend – please take the opportunity to get vaccinated," he added.

Speaking in relation to news that the Covid-19 vaccination programme will be extended to all those aged 12 to 15, Professor Karina Butler, Chair of the National Immunisation Advisory Committee, said clinical trials estimated efficacy of both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines as 100% in these age groups, making them "extremely effective in preventing infection in this age cohort".

"I would strongly encourage those aged 12-15 years of age with underlying medical conditions, those living with a younger child with complex medical needs, or with an immunocompromised adult to accept vaccination as soon as it is offered," she said.

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