Coronavirus: 'Too early for celebration' over vaccine with one death and 270 cases

ireland
Coronavirus: 'Too Early For Celebration' Over Vaccine With One Death And 270 Cases Coronavirus: 'Too Early For Celebration' Over Vaccine With One Death And 270 Cases
Chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan said it was 'certainly too early for celebration' over a Covid-19 vaccine.
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By Digital Desk Staff

There has been one further death and 270 new cases of Covid-19 confirmed in the State this evening, according to the Department of Health.

Of today's cases, 103 are located in Dublin, 34 in Limerick, 20 in Donegal, 12 in Cork, nine in Kerry, nine in Kilkenny and the remaining 83 cases are spread across 20 other counties.

Speaking after the news that a new Covid-19 vaccine may be more than 90 per cent effective against the virus, chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan said it was "certainly too early for celebration".

He said the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) would withhold judgement until the data surrounding the vaccine, currently available in a press release, was made available to regulatory authorities and published in scientific literature.

He said the current focus must remain on measures currently available to curb the spread of the virus, including the wearing of face masks, social distancing and hand washing.

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Dr Holohan said it was "not early days for planning" with regards to a Covid-19 vaccine in the Republic, with "a lot of anticipatory planning" currently ongoing behind the scenes.

It's not going to be the global solution but certainly it's a very positive first step

Dr Cillian de Gascun of UCD's National Virus Reference Laboratory said the news surrounding the vaccine was "positive overall" and if its 90 per cent effectiveness held true it would be a "good start" in the real world.

He cautioned about logistical challenges surrounding the distribution of the vaccine, including a two-dose schedule and its required storage at a minus 80 degrees Celcius.

"It's not going to be the global solution but certainly it's a very positive first step," he said.

Another 471 people have tested positive for Covid-19 in Northern Ireland, bringing the total of new cases in the region over the last seven days to 3,921.

A further 10 deaths were also reported as Stormont ministers met to discuss the extension of a four-week circuit-break lockdown due to expire on Thursday.



It is expected some restrictions will be extended for two weeks in the region while others will be eased, with an announcement likely later this evening.

Earlier on Monday, Health Minister Stephen Donnelly said the announcement that a vaccine for Covid-19 was more than 90 per cent effective based on initial data is a "good reason to be optimistic”.

Pfizer and German partner BioNTech SE are the first drugmakers to show successful data from a large-scale clinical trial of a coronavirus vaccine.

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The EU has confirmed that a contract for 300 million doses of the vaccine will soon be signed.

The world could be in a position to "fundamentally change" the direction of the Covid-19 crisis by March due to the development, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The pandemic has hit another sobering milestone, with more than 50 million positive cases worldwide since the pandemic began.

More than 1.2 million people have died from the disease worldwide.

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