Covid-19 infections in hospital staff down 90% since vaccine rollout started

ireland
Covid-19 Infections In Hospital Staff Down 90% Since Vaccine Rollout Started Covid-19 Infections In Hospital Staff Down 90% Since Vaccine Rollout Started
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Digital Desk Staff

The rate of Covid-19 infection among hospital workers has fallen by 90 per cent since the beginning of vaccine rollout for frontline staff, according to new data.

The decline in infection has outpaced the reduction in Covid cases among the public, which is 76 per cent, according to The Irish Times.

HSE chief clinical officer Dr Colm Henry said some of the “sharp drop” in hospital staff could be attributed to a drop in community transmission, however, “the scale and timing of the fall is encouraging and suggests an early vaccine effect”.

Covid-19 cases among hospital workers peaked after Christmas with around 1,000 in the week ending January 17th, Dr Henry said.

“We have seen a distinct fall in cases, particularly in the last two weeks. On the week ending February 14th, it was at just under 100 cases.”

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He added that cases acquired in hospitals had fallen from 500 in the first week of January to around 100.

Data seen by The Irish Times shows that of 200 cases the previous week, the largest share was in the Dublin Midlands Hospital Group, started by an outbreak in St James's Hospital.

Brazilian variant

Meanwhile, three cases of a coronavirus variant initially detected in Brazil have been identified in Ireland for the first time, the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) said on Friday night.

All of the cases are directly associated with recent travel from Brazil.

Deputy chief medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn said: “This P1 variant has previously been identified in a small number of European countries, including France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain.

“While there is currently no microbiological or epidemiological evidence of any change in transmissibility of P1, this is plausible.

“Further studies are required to determine whether this variant is likely to have an impact on vaccine effectiveness or infection severity.”

The Brazil variant could be much more contagious or easy to catch than the original version of coronavirus.

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