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OVER 80% of adults in Ireland now have at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine.

Reaching that figure by the end of June was a key government goal in the early stages of the rollout, but it was admitted in late May that it would be missed due to previous supply issues with the Janssen and AstraZeneca vaccines.

It is now reached three weeks late. As of July 21, 3,026,154 people had at least one dose of a Covid vaccine, or 80.7% of the adult population.

2,490,646 received both doses of the Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Moderna vaccines or the Janssen single injection vaccine, which means that two out of three adults are fully immunized (66.42%).

The “at least one dose” goal has become less crucial in recent weeks as the Delta variant of the coronavirus has become dominant. Unlike previous variations, the first dose of the two-shot vaccines offers less protection against Delta, and both doses are needed for adequate protection.

It is mainly an infection with the coronavirus. One dose will always provide a significant level of protection against serious illness.

None of the Covid-19 vaccines offer complete protection against infection, even among fully vaccinated people, but they are very effective in preventing serious illness.

Speaking to Newstalk Pat Kenny, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said given the Delta wave the government would pause before further easing restrictions.

While he had hoped for a gradual return to the office for some workers, he said it is now more likely to happen during the September / October period.

Varadkar also says the Cabinet will continue to meet until August and will not take their usual summer break.

The latest hospital figures from the HSE showed that there are currently 18 Covid-positive people in the hospital who are fully vaccinated, with eight new fully vaccinated cases in the past 24 hours.

In total, there are 86 people hospitalized with Covid-19, down two from yesterday, with 22 people with Covid-19 in intensive care.

Varadkar said “the Delta wave is different”, as in previous waves, 1,000 cases would have resulted in 20 deaths. Now 1,000 cases will result in one or two deaths.

“It is ten times less serious in terms of mortality,” he added.

In terms of hospitalizations, Varadkar said the evidence from Scotland – which he says is also confirmed in Ireland – is that the hospitalization rate is around 1.5%.

A case count of 2,000 per day “now means something very different from what it would have meant before the vaccination program.”

There are around 900 more hospital beds in the healthcare system than before the pandemic started, Varadkar added.

Le Tánaiste clarified that of the 96 people hospitalized with Covid-19, this includes people “who are not treated for Covid”

“They could be with a burst appendix or for knee surgery, and they happen to be Covid positive. We’re trying to get a little better data from the HSE on this, so that we can distinguish between those who are in treatment for Covid, as opposed to those who are positive for Covid, but that’s not why they are in the hospital and they would not be in the hospital without their further complaint, ”Varadkar said.

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Given that 80% of adults now have at least one dose of a Covid vaccine, the government’s revised target of having 70% of adults fully vaccinated by the end of July will almost certainly be met.

Even with over 80% of adults on a first dose, this still leaves Ireland with a significant way to go to achieve herd immunity, as experts believe it will require something in the region of 80% of the population. total.

Including people of all ages, 50.04% are fully vaccinated, 7.3% are partially vaccinated, and 42.66% are unvaccinated as of July 21.

These figures would put Ireland at the top of the rankings compared to other EU / EEA countries, ahead of the US (48% fully vaccinated, 7.4% partially) and just behind the UK (53% fully vaccinated). vaccinated, 15% partially).

As of this week, all adults over 18 can now register for a Covid vaccine through the HSE portal.

Varadkar said “very soon” that the government would open it to vaccinate 16 and 17 year olds.

“There is a problem around parental consent, but we should be able to sort it out,” he said.

For those aged 12 to 15 inclusive, “it’s a bit more complicated,” he added, saying the NIAC will develop recommendations for this age cohort.

Made with flourish

– With reports by Rónán Duffy and Christina Finn

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