A recent rise in the number of admissions to intensive care units due to Covid-19 has been driven by unvaccinated patients, HSE boss Paul Reid has said.
There were 74 patients with the virus in ICUs on Sunday, a 20% increase on the same time last week.
Mr Reid said that of that figure, 67% were unvaccinated, while another 3% had had one jab.
He said: “Right now, today, we’re at 382 people with Covid positive in hospital and 74 in ICU.
“That’s up about 20% on this day last week. Interestingly, in ICU at the moment with those 74 people, 67% of those patients in ICU have not been vaccinated at all, and about 3% have been partially vaccinated.
“It is a really very strong call for myself again today to urge people who haven’t been vaccinated, if you’re not vaccinated, you’re at higher risk of hospitalisation.
“If you’re not vaccinated, you have a higher potential to transmit further."
On Saturday there were were 35 patients with Covid-19 being treated at hospitals in Cork (27 at Cork University Hospital and eight people at the Mercy University Hospital).
Six Covid positive patients were being cared for at ICUs in the city.
While national numbers have seen an increase in recent days, Mr Reid said the figures were not as concerning thanks to the impact of vaccines.
“We certainly are in a much stronger position now in terms of the uptake of the population of vaccination” he told RTÉ’s This Week.
“So when we are saying case numbers of 1,500, 2,000 it is a different position than it might have been earlier this year.”
A booster jab programme was under way for the most vulnerable people.
“We are working from the HSE perspective on the recommendations that come from the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC),” Mr Reid said.
“Already we have started with those recommendations across a few groups.
“Firstly, those people who are immunocompromised and need a third vaccine.
“And secondly, those people over 65 who are in long-term care facilities, and residents in long-term care facilities and thankfully about a third of those now have been completed.
“Nursing homes have been completed over the past couple of weeks and also those people who are over 80, living in the community, getting the vaccination through GPs.”
Sunday saw a further 1,384 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Ireland, the Department of Health said.
The latest figures show 1,650 cases of the virus were reported in Cork in the 14 days to October 7.