Ireland tops 1.2 million Covid vaccinations, as hospital numbers continue to fall

Ireland tops 1.2 million Covid vaccinations, as hospital numbers continue to fall

Approximately 140,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccines were administered in the State in the seven days up to Saturday.

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly tweeted the figures, confirming 1,203,630 doses have been administered as of April 17th.

A further breakdown of the figures showed 21.8 per cent of adults in the State over the age of 16 have received their first dose, while 9 per cent are now fully vaccinated.

Meanwhile, the head of the HSE Paul Reid confirmed the number of people with Covid-19 in hospital has now fallen to 179, the lowest level since October 8th, while number of patients requiring treatment in intensive care is 46, the lowest number since New Year's Eve.

Similarly, on Sunday, the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) confirmed 269 new cases of the virus, the smallest daily increase so far this year.

The improving epidemiological situation comes as health officials and the Government look to determine what restrictions they may ease over the coming months.

Very low incidences of the virus in some counties have reignited calls for restrictions to be eased on a local basis, allowing for a further easing of measures in areas where transmission is low.

Speaking to Newstalk, Kerry TD Michael Healy-Rae said a regional approach to the easing of restrictions would be fairer.

"It quite simply does not make sense. If certain counties are doing very well and their figures are very low, why should they be paying the same penalty, I would call it, as a place that's not doing as well?

"It just doesn't make sense, so I would say, even at this later stage, could the Government not look at this?"

According to data provided by the Department of Health relating to the two-week period to April 15th, 14 counties had incidence rates below 100 cases per 100,000 people.

Sligo, Kilkenny, Clare, Kerry, Carlow and Cork each were under the 50 mark, however figures from Kildare and Donegal showed much higher rates of infection, over 190 cases per 100,000, while Offaly was the only county to surpass the 200 mark.

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