Tuesday, September 07, 2021

Digital Desk Staff

Nearly three in four teenagers aged 16-17 have received a first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, while more than half are now fully vaccinated, according to new figures from the Health Service Executive (HSE).

The vaccination breakdown, shared by Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly on Tuesday, shows more than half (56 per cent) of 12-15-year-olds have had their first dose, while 1 per cent are now fully vaccinated.

It comes as this evening the Department of Health has confirmed a further 1,470 new cases of Covid-19. There are currently 367 people in hospital with the virus and a further 59 in ICU.

As the Irish Times reports, vaccination rates are highest in the older age groups, with 99 per cent of people over 70 finished their vaccination course. In the 50-plus cohort, 95 per cent of people are fully vaccinated, compared to 89 per cent of 40- to 49-year-olds and 85 per cent of people in the 30-39 age cohort.

Three-quarters of people aged 18-29 have completed their vaccinations, while 83 per cent are partially vaccinated.

Return to school

Earlier today, Mr Donnelly expressed confidence in the return to school and said public health controls are working.

On RTÉ Radio’s Today with Claire Byrne show he acknowledged there are “a lot of close contacts and there are a lot of children isolating”, but this is due to high rates of the virus in the community, he said.

The high numbers being identified as close contacts is evidence the public health response “is working”. On Monday the HSE’s head of testing and tracing, Niamh O’Beirne, said there were up to 12,000 children out of school due to being identified as a close contact.

Positivity rates are reducing in primary and secondary school age groups, with “encouraging” reductions in the 13-plus cohort due to vaccinations, the Minister said.

He pointed to the falling 14-day incidence rate in Ireland, which stands at 451 confirmed cases per 100,000. The latest data published by the HSE’s Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) on Tuesday shows the rate of infections leading to September 5th has reduced from 524 cases per 100,000 two weeks prior.

“We’re not out of the woods, but our phased aroach is working,” Mr Donnelly said.

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