• Sun. Oct 23rd, 2022

Minister for Health defends pace of the State’s vaccination programme

Jan 7, 2021

The number of people sick in the States hospitals with Covid-19 has passed 1,000 for the first time.
Health Service Executive chief executive Paul Reid said there was now 1,022 patients sick in hospital with 88 in intensive care units.
In a Twitter post, Mr Reid described it is as a sad milestone that nobody wanted to happen.
It concerns me relaying this, he said. But I do know we will get through a tough time ahead with your help. At the other side, it will be better.
The number of people sick in hospital with the disease has quadrupled in two weeks. Rising from fewer than 250 on December 23rd to 1,022 on January 7th.
The latest statistics from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) show 100 people were admitted to hospital in the last 24 hours and 64 were discharged.
Eighteen people were admitted to intensive care units (ICUs) and five discharged.
Meanwhile, Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly has defended the pace of the States vaccination programme.
Were not slow. Were moving at the same pace as the rest of Europe, he told Newstalk Breakfast on Thursday.
He said that by the end of the first quarter there will have been 470,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccines delivered into the country – around 350,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine and 110,000 of the Moderna vaccine, orders for which were confirmed on Wednesday night following its approval by the EU regulator.
Speaking on RTÉ radios Morning Ireland, Mr Donnelly said that the Government was awaiting authorisation of the AstraZeneca vaccine and a further vaccine from Johnson & Johnson, which would be easy to apply and came in one dose.
He said the expectation was that by the end of the February all nursing home residents and staff and all frontline workers will have been vaccinated.
He said the only constraint on the States approach to the rollout would be waiting for the doses to arrive.
On hospitals, Mr Donnelly said the situation was now very serious. He told RTÉs Morning Ireland that the UK variant of the disease, which scientists believe spreads more quickly, was present at a serious level in the State and being detected in all areas.
The arrival of this variant made it difficult to model and project when the peak in cases, more than 7,000 of which were reported on Wednesday, would come, he said.
The plan is not to run out of ICU beds, he said, adding that this was why extra restrictions had been introduced yesterday.
Under surge capacity plans there would be 350 ICU beds with a further 50 in private hospitals, if necessary, he added.
The message remained for people to stay at home, said Mr Donnelly.
Significant levels of mobility were an additional risk.
We cant have 1.1million people traveling to and from schools every day he told Newstalk.