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23rd Dec 2021

Almost half of the adults in Ireland have received booster jabs

“Great work by staff and volunteers in our vaccine centres, GPs and pharmacists.”

Almost half of the adult population in Ireland has now received their Covid booster vaccine, according to the Taoiseach.

The latest update from Micheál Martin comes as the HSE warns of the worst-case scenario when it comes to the Omicron variant, warning that the country could see up to 20,000 cases a day.

Martin said that as of Thursday, 49.9% of the adult population, meaning those over the age of 18, with 37.4% of the whole population now getting the vaccine.

“Great work by staff and volunteers in our vaccine centres, GPs and pharmacists,” he tweeted.

HSE chief executive, Paul Reid, has added that while hospital admission data showed the Delta wave was ending, we are now entering an Omicron wave as cases are increasing.

“We are entering, unfortunately, an Omicron wave which we know has high transmissibility,” he told RTÉ Radio One.

“In terms of the number of cases, Nphet (the National Public Health Emergency Team) would have done various modelling, they would have outlined to Government potential case numbers from an optimistic scenario of 8,000 per day (to a) pessimistic 20,000.

“So any range within there is the uncertainty level.”

He noted that case numbers could be influenced by those getting their boosters and changing their behaviours to reduce being exposed to the virus.

Reid also said that while Omicron is milder than Delta, huge numbers of people being infected with it could still result in a “severe strain” being put on the hospital system.

The HSE boss also put another emphasis on the importance of getting vaccinated, revealing that 54% of patients in ICU beds are unvaccinated, a disproportionate rate considering only 6% of the overall population are unvaccinated.