Ireland has the highest rate of vaccine uptake in the EU.
COVID-19 hospitalised cases are down to 272 as of Wednesday 22 September, according to the CEO of Health Service Executive Paul Reid.
Reid noted that 60% of cases are over the age of 50, 40% are aged 19-49, and 60% of those in ICU are non-vaccinated – reminding the public that “vaccinations do protect stronger.”
Thankfully #covid19 hospitalised cases now down to 272. In ICU today 60% of cases are 50yrs+ & 40% aged 19-49. However 60% of cases in ICU are non vaccinated. This is striking when only 9% of adults (18+) haven't been fully vaccinated. Vaccinations do protect stronger. @HSELive
— Paul Reid (@paulreiddublin) September 22, 2021
The darkest days of the pandemic may finally be behind us, as 90% of Irish people over the age of 16 are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The country reached this milestone over the weekend, nine months into the vaccine rollout.
The latest figures show that 7.1 million vaccine doses have been issued in Ireland. The majority of the population (72%) have received the Pfizer vaccine, a total of 16.7% have received the AstraZeneca jab, and 8% of people were given Moderna. Only 235,000 received the one-shot Janssen vaccine.
Over 3.5 million first doses and almost 3.4 million second doses have been administered.
Professor Brian MacCraith, Chair of Ireland’s Vaccine Task Force, previously credited Ireland’s successful vaccine rollout to a well-educated population who trust in public-health advice.
“I think it’s an educated population, I think people trusted the science, and they trusted the public health advice,” he said.
“I think the abundance of caution that National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) showed meant that Irish people trusted the advice so we mightn’t have liked the outcome many times, but everyone knew that it was for the right purpose, so they trusted what was been said to them.”
Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan described the achievement as the envy of the world.
“Ireland’s exceptionally, almost unprecedentedly, high level of vaccination is the envy of our neighbours across the European Union and indeed, across the world,” said the CMO a statement.
“Vaccination remains our best means of protection against COVID-19. The vaccines available in Ireland are very safe and effective against COVID-19.”
He said that while vaccinated individuals may still contract COVID, they are less likely to become severely ill, and encouraged those who have not yet received their jabs to do so as soon as possible.
“There are still some people who haven’t yet taken up the opportunity of vaccination, or who have delayed receiving a second dose for various reasons. I strongly encourage anyone who is in this position to ensure they get fully vaccinated as soon as possible in order to best protect themselves and those around them.”
Monday marked an important day for the reopening of the country as people began returning to work in offices, indoor activities resumed and remaining limits on outdoor activities were lifted.
The next phase of Ireland’s reopening plan will take place on Friday 22 October, when the majority of remaining COVID restrictions will end.