By James Ward, PA
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 coronavirus in ICUs, a 20 per cent increase on the same time last week.
Mr Reid said that of that figure, 67 per cent were unvaccinated, while another 3 per cent 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 per cent on this day last week. Interestingly, in ICU at the moment with those 74 people, 67 per cent of those patients in ICU have not been vaccinated at all, and about 3 per cent 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.
“Very positively, I was in a vaccination centre on Friday, and (there are) a significant number of people from all ages still coming through.”
— Department of Health (@roinnslainte) October 10, 2021
Case numbers also saw a marked increase, rising above 2,000 cases for the first time since August.
But 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.
If you are immunocompromised you may be offered another #COVIDVaccine dose. A weak immune system means you may not have responded as well to your vaccine as others. Another dose should protect you from becoming very ill from COVID-19. https://t.co/5WJKVuAwuL #ForUsAll pic.twitter.com/WZy8e1UpET
— HSE Ireland (@HSELive) October 9, 2021
“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.