Almost 220,000 coronavirus vaccinations have been administered in Ireland, according to the HSE
HSE chief executive Paul Reid said 51,200 vaccinations were given last week.
To date, 219,200 jabs have been administered.
This includes some 152,000 first doses and 67,000 second doses.
#COVID19 vaccines update from @paulreiddublin - the total cumulative number of vaccines administered up to 3rd February is 219,200 vaccines. #CovidVaccine #HoldFirm pic.twitter.com/BQwfSGahsu
— HSE Ireland (@HSELive) February 4, 2021
Mr Reid said some 86,000 vaccinations have been given to people in long-term care facilities, including 12,000 people who have received two doses.
A total of 130,000 vaccinations have been administered to frontline healthcare staff, including 55,000 who have received both doses.
Next week, the HSE plans to administer about 29,000 vaccines – 9,000 jabs in long-term care facilities, 15,000 to frontline healthcare workers and 5,000 to GPs.
Mr Reid said the HSE is currently in the process of readjusting its vaccination plan due to the Government’s decision that people aged 70 and over should not be given the Astra Zeneca vaccine where possible.
Instead this cohort should only receive mRNA vaccines – from Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna.
It means the AstraZeneca vaccine will now be given to healthcare workers and vulnerable people under the age of 70.
“It does not throw our plan completely in the air,” Mr Reid told the HSE briefing on Thursday afternoon.
He said the HSE is still aiming to roll out coronavirus vaccines to the over 70s by the end of March as originally envisioned.
“Our intention is to do it in the timeframe we committed originally, however it will be extremely challenging but we wouldn’t want it to drift much further,” Mr Reid said.
The over 85s are set to start receiving the jabs from February 15th.
The HSE boss said they were working through the operational changes that we would have to made to readjust the plan based on the Government’s decision.
“There are quite significant challenges we have to mobilise around.”
He said the HSE would now re-engage with the Irish Medical Organisation regarding the vaccination plan.
They will be looking at large locations that can accommodate a number of GPs in one location so that they could handle the refrigeration and administration of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to older people.
“They have to look at locations that can accommodate multiple GPs in one location. That’s to ensure effective registration processes, administration processes, vaccine and vaccine area and observation areas and most importantly refrigeration capacity to handle the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.”
We've always been clear that the #COVID19 vaccine roll out, will have many twists and turns in Q1. So far we've met all challenges in a safe, effective, secure & timely manner. Our plan is to meet the latest changing requirements in the same way. Bear with us for now. @HSELive
— Paul Reid (@paulreiddublin) February 4, 2021
But he said they always knew the first three months of the year would be a “bumpy road” filled with “unpredictability and uncertainty” as vaccine supplies came on stream.
Mr Reid said the numbers being hospitalised with the virus was continuing to come down but there still remains “too much heat” on our hospital system.
He said the number of Covid-19 cases in hospitals had reduced to 1,308, down from more than 2,000 last week but that the number is still 50 per cent higher than peak of 880 in April in first wave.
“We are still at a very significant high base although trending thankfully in the right direction,” he said.
When it comes to intensive care units Mr Reid said the health service was still using its surge capacity and that 280 patients were receiving advanced respiratory support.
He added that clinical care consultants were reporting that patients were getting sicker, remaining in ICU for longer periods and there were high mortality rates.
Dr Colm Henry told the briefing that there had been more than 100,000 cases of Covid-19 in Ireland last month.
It represents more than half the total number of cases of the virus since the pandemic began.
But the HSE’s chief clinical officer reported that the rate of virus was falling with the 14-day incidence rate per 100,000 population down 40 per cent in the past week.
It now stands at 424, down from 674 last week.
The five-day moving average has reduced 20 per cent from 1,383 to 1,121 in the past week.
It is translating through to a lower number of cases in hospital.
There is now an average of 68 hospital admissions per day.