Coronavirus: 1,903 new cases confirmed as Holohan says ‘we know vaccines work’

Vaccination programme ‘has prevented 2,700 cases per week per million population’

A further 1,903 cases of Covid-19 were confirmed in the State on Thursday by the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet).

The latest figures show there are 219 patients in hospital with the virus, of whom 37 are in ICU.

Speaking as the new figures were reported, chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan said: “We know that vaccines work.”

Dr Holohan said vaccines are about 80 per cent at preventing symptomatic Covid-19 and about 95 per cent effective at preventing hospitalisation.


“This protection against severe disease holds up even in the context of the Delta variant,” he said, adding that the vaccination programme is preventing at least 2,700 cases of the disease per week, per million of the population.

“The Covid-19 vaccination programme has shown not only the best of scientific and medical endeavour, but also commendable solidarity by those who have come forward to receive a vaccine for the good of themselves and their wider community,” said Dr Holohan.

"While uptake has been fantastic, there are some who have not yet taken the opportunity to get protected through vaccination. For those who remain unsure, have questions or concerns, please access trusted sources of information like your GP or pharmacist and look at the information available on"

The latest figures follow confirmation from the Health Service Executive (HSE) that more than 50,000 children aged 12-15 had been registered for a Covid-19 vaccine after the portal opened for the age group overnight.

Breakthrough cases

Earlier, deputy chief medical officer Ronan Glynn warned that no vaccine is 100 percent effective and that there would be "breakthrough" cases of the virus among those who had been fully vaccinated.

Speaking on RTÉ radio's News at One, Dr Glynn urged people to get fully vaccinated and not to be put off by cases of Covid-19 in those who had been fully vaccinated. The situation was comparable to wearing a seat belt, he said.

The majority of people who died in road accidents had been wearing a safety belt, that did not mean that safety belts did not work, he explained. It reflected the fact that the vast majority of people wore safety belts when driving, but some would be involved in accidents.

The risk of severe injury or death in an accident would be much lower if they were wearing a safety belt, he added.

This meant that a proportion of people who had been fully vaccinated would still get Covid-19, and in some cases get very sick from it. However, the length of stay would be shorter if they had been vaccinated and they were less likely to end up in critical care.

The vast majority who were now contracting Covid-19 experienced only mild symptoms, he said. A small minority would have serious complications.

Fewer serious outcomes were now being seen when compared to other periods during the pandemic. “But we’re not out of the woods yet.”

Dr Glynn encouraged parents and guardians to go to reputable sources for information about vaccination for 12 to 15 year olds.

His advice was to be properly informed. Vaccination for this cohort was important for children with underlying conditions themselves or who lived in households where there were those at risk.

“The advice is strong for any child with underlying medical conditions to avail of the vaccinations and equally any child who lives in a household with other potentially vulnerable people should get vaccinated.” The vaccination campaign was a key part of the plan to get back to normality and for children to return to school.

For the vast majority, the risk of ending up seriously unwell with Covid-19 was preventable through vaccination. The ambition was to get as many people as possible vaccinated “so we can get back to a level as close to normal as quickly as possible,” he said.

“I implore everyone to get vaccinated, if they have had only the first dose, to get the second dose so they will be fully protected.”

The numbers were going in the right direction “everything bar the disease itself.”

“We have to be hopeful.”

Northern Ireland

Meanwhile, three further deaths of patients who had tested positive for Covid-19 have been reported in Northern Ireland.

The North’s Department of Health said there had also been 1,610 new confirmed cases in the last 24-hour reporting period.

On Thursday morning, there were 341 Covid-positive patients in hospital, with 42 in intensive care. – Additional reporting: PA