Coronavirus: 1,345 new cases in State, as 21 people in ICU with disease

More than 50,000 vaccine doses given in State on Friday

A medical worker prepares syringes that contain the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine against Covid-19. File photograph: Jens Schlueter/Getty Images

A medical worker prepares syringes that contain the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine against Covid-19. File photograph: Jens Schlueter/Getty Images

 

A further 1,345 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in the State, according to the Department of Health.

There were 105 people with the virus in hospitals on Saturday morning, 21 of whom were in ICU.

According to the Health Protection Surveillance Centre’s latest 14-day report there have been 51 cases of the virus acquired by patients in healthcare settings in the two weeks to July 21st.

Health officials in Northern Ireland have appealed to people who have not yet received their first jab to book in before next week.

Regional vaccination centres will stop giving first doses of Covid-19 jabs on July 31st.

There are a number of vaccination centres across Northern Ireland, including the SSE Arena, the South Lake Leisure Centre in Craigavon and Omagh Leisure Centre.

It comes as a further 1,520 cases of Covid-19 have been reported in Northern Ireland, the Department of Health said.

One further death of a patient who had previously tested positive for the virus has been notified.

There were 163 Covid-positive patients in hospital on Saturday morning, with 16 in intensive care.

In total, 2,200,125 vaccines have been administered.

On Friday, the Department of Health launched a new Covid CertNI app enabling users to show proof of vaccination for international travel.

The app is available to download from the Google Play Store and Apple App Store.

It includes a secure QR code to enable its authenticity to be verified.

Health Minister Robin Swann said it will enable those travelling internationally to access their vaccination records and show a digital certificate.

“I urge the public to remain patient as the new process beds in and only apply if you are travelling in the coming days/weeks,” he added.

Paul Reid, the CEO of the HSE. File photograph
Paul Reid, the CEO of the HSE. File photograph

Vaccines

On Friday, more than 50,000 vaccine doses were administered again in the Republic, the chief executive of the Health Service Executive confirmed.

Paul Reid encouraged people to help “turn the tide” on the Delta variant, saying fully vaccinated individuals are better protected against hospitalisation or being admitted to intensive care.

Some 3,119,312 first doses of the vaccine have been administered, according to the Department of Health, and 2,377,108 people are now fully vaccinated in the State.

Registration for vaccination is now open to anyone over the age of 18.

“If you are fully vaccinated, you have high levels of protection against being hospitalised or [admitted to] ICU,” Mr Reid said.

The Irish Times understands that vaccine registration for those aged 16 and 17 will open through the online portal next week.

The National Immunisation Advisory Committee (Niac) is expected to provide guidance on the vaccination of children aged 12-15 next week.

Some Government sources believe Niac may opt for a conservative approach along the lines of what authorities have opted for in Britain.

Children in the UK will get a Covid vaccine only if they are over 12 and extremely vulnerable, or live with someone at risk.

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly is understood to have asked if children with underlying conditions could be prioritised, which will take careful examination.

It is understood that if Niac does decide to recommend a wider vaccination programme for 12- to 15-year-olds, beyond that which is in place in the UK, appointments could be rolled out within weeks.

Consent from parents would be needed and a specific information campaign would be mounted by the Government.

So far, there have been 290,525 cases of Covid-19 in the State. On Friday, a further 1,386 cases were confirmed. – Additional reporting from PA