Covid: Further 4,152 cases as vaccinations to be offered to children aged 5-11

The Department of Health also reported a further 81 deaths from Covid-19, bring the total number of fatalities in the State to 5,788. 
Covid: Further 4,152 cases as vaccinations to be offered to children aged 5-11

Tomas Doherty

A further 4,152 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in the Republic, the Department of Health has said.

As of Wednesday morning, there were 543 people in hospitals with the disease, including 118 patients in intensive care units.

The department also reported a further 81 deaths from Covid-19, bringing the total number of fatalities in the State to 5,788.

The update comes as the Taoiseach confirmed a plan to offer Covid vaccinations to children aged five to 11 will be published within days.

On Wednesday, the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (Niac) recommended to the Government that jabs should be offered to around 480,000 primary school children.

The State’s vaccine advisory body signed off on their use, with the rollout expected to take place from next month.

The dose for this age group will be lower than those given to adults.

The Department of Health and the HSE are now making plans to work in the new age group into Ireland’s vaccine programme.

Micheál Martin said that an information plan will be published in days.

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly said it was “another positive step forward” in the country’s response to the pandemic.

“Extending the possibility of vaccination to this age group offers another layer of protection to our children, and to those around them,” he said.

Travel rules

Meanwhile, an Oireachtas committee has heard that 100 passengers have entered Ireland without a negative Covid-19 test since new rules were introduced on Sunday.

Fears over the Omicron variant brought about the introduction of fresh restrictions on travel, requiring all travellers to Ireland from overseas to have a negative PCR or antigen test.

The Oireachtas Committee on Transport heard on Wednesday that since the rules came into effect, 100 passengers arriving at Dublin Airport have been referred to Gardai for failure to comply.

Those arriving without tests were required to undergo a Covid-19 test and self-isolate.

Despite the arrival of passengers without negative tests, the committee heard there were no penalties for airlines that failed to ensure their passengers had valid tests.

“The obligation in the first instance rests with the travelling passenger, but the airline at the point of boarding carries out checks that each passenger has a receipt indicating completion of the passenger locator form and a negative test,” said Fintan Towey, assistant secretary at the Department of Transport.

“There is a legal obligation for carriers to carry out the checks, but it’s not a penal provision.

“So carriers don’t commit an offence if they allow a person to board inadvertently without the required test.”

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