CategoryIreland

Ireland – More than 250k vaccines administered in one week, as hospitalisations drop to 106

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The vaccine rollout hit a crucial target in the past week, as the HSE reports a total spend of €500 million on Covid-19 measures so far.

Almost 261,000 doses were administered in the week leading up to 10 May, according to the latest data. The government previously indicated the rollout will be at this scale by the end of the month.

This suggests the government’s target of having 80% of the eligible population with a first dose by 30 June is within grasp.

According to analysis of the figures by The Journal, the 80% figure will be passed on 3 July, if the pace of the rollout continues to improve in line with expectations.

Even if no improvement is made, the 80% figure will be reached on 17 July at the current pace of vaccination.

https://www.thejournal.ie/total-covid-spend-hse-hospitalisations-fall-5434925-May2021/

Ireland: 269 new cases reported, one further death – Lowest single-day figure since December 13th, lowest Sunday figure since September

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There have been 269 new cases of Covid-19 reported by the Department of Health.

The Department has also reported one further Covid-related death.

70% of the cases involve people under 45 years of age, while the median age is 31 years old.

There are 181 people with Covid-19 being treated in hospitals, with 47 of these receiving intensive care. This is down three from yesterday.

1,188,354 doses of Covid-19 vaccine have been administered as if Friday 16 April.

838,644 people have received their first dose, and 349,710 of these people have also received their second dose.

https://www.rte.ie/news/2021/0418/1210540-covid-vaccination-appointments/

EU approves single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine

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The European Medicines Agency has recommended granting conditional marketing authorisation for the single-dose Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine, in what is the fourth vaccine approved by the bloc.

The company has committed to deliver 200 million doses to the EU this year with 600,000 pencilled in to arrive in Ireland between April and June.

The ease of administering the vaccine, which can be stored in an ordinary fridge and requires only one dose, has been flagged as a game-changer but a global scramble for doses is putting pressure on supply chains.

“With this latest positive opinion, authorities across the European Union will have another option to combat the pandemic and protect the lives and health of their citizens,” said Emer Cooke, the EMA’s executive director, adding, “this is the first vaccine which can be used as a single dose”.

https://www.irishtimes.com/business/health-pharma/eu-approves-single-shot-johnson-johnson-vaccine-1.4507473

Ireland and Europe – the outlook for vaccination is better than it seems

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Based on the current delivery schedule provided by pharmaceutical companies, Ireland believes its vaccination campaign can catch up with Britain’s or come close to it. 

Some other European Union member states say the same: that they should be able to vaccinate all or almost all of the adults who want a vaccine by the end of June, similar to the UK’s target of July 31st.

Ireland’s plan to give 82 per cent of adults at least one shot by June is possible because Pfizer and Moderna have increased their deliveries, and Johnson & Johnson’s one-shot vaccine is expected in spring (it applied for approval from the European Medicines Agency last week, and a decision is expected soon). AstraZeneca also says it is working to fulfil its original delivery schedule, so it’s possible there could be more doses than expected.

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/europe/the-outlook-for-vaccination-is-better-than-it-seems-1.4494249

England delivering 140 jabs a minute, says NHS chief

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People in England are being vaccinated four times faster than new cases of the virus are being detected, NHS England’s chief executive has said.

Sir Simon Stevens told the BBC that 140 people a minute were now being given the jab, usually the first dose of two.

Sir Simon told the Andrew Marr Show some hospitals would open for vaccinations 24 hours a day, seven days a week on a trial basis in the next 10 days.

He said England was on course to deliver 1.5 million doses this week. Scotland has delivered a total of more than 224,000 first doses, Wales has given over 126,000 and Northern Ireland nearly 118,000 – although Scotland and Wales do not report figures at the weekend.

Half of all over-80s have now been vaccinated, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said. “Each jab brings us one step closer to normal,” he said.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-55694967

More than 130,000 vaccinated in UK in first week

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More than 130,000 people have been vaccinated in the first week of the UK’s vaccination programme.

Minister Nadhim Zahawi, who is in charge of vaccine rollout, tweeted 137,897 people had been given their first doses of the Pfizer / BioNTech jab between 8 and 15 December.

He described it as a “really good start” for the programme.

The figure only captures the start of the community vaccination programme run by GPs which launched on Monday.

About 200 of these local vaccination clinics are expected to be up and running by the end of the week.

They will be followed by another 1,000 in the coming weeks.

During the first week, more than 70 hospitals took part in the vaccination programme – with another 10 starting this week.

Mr Zahawi said the figures were provisional and from next week there would be published data available.

The breakdown for individual nations showed:

108,000 vaccinated in England

7,897 in Wales

4,000 in Northern Ireland

18,000 in Scotland

“Transparency is vital as we deliver vaccines across the UK,” Mr Zahawi added.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “This is just the start and we will steadily expand our vaccination programme – ultimately helping everyone get back to normal life.”

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Vaccine rollout could be ‘decisive turning point’ says health boss

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The first vaccinations will mark a “decisive turning point in the battle against coronavirus”, NHS England’s chief executive has said on the eve of the jab being rolled out.

People in the UK will begin to receive the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine on Tuesday.

NHS England boss Sir Simon Stevens said vaccinations would continue “at least until next spring” and warned people to be “very careful” in the meantime.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock tweeted all parts of the UK had vaccine doses.

Front-line health staff, those aged over 80, and care home workers will be first in line for the vaccine.

In England, 50 hospitals have been initially chosen to serve as hubs for administering it.

Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland will also begin their vaccination programmes from hospitals on Tuesday.

Speaking at the Royal Free Hospital in London ahead of the Covid-19 vaccine rollout, Sir Simon said: “Tomorrow is the beginning of the biggest vaccination campaign in our history, building on successes from previous campaigns against conditions [and] diseases like polio, meningitis, and tuberculosis.

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First doses of Pfizer jab arrive in Northern Ireland

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The first doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine have arrived in Northern Ireland.

Nearly 25,000 doses arrived in Belfast on Friday – it is hoped it will be the first of several deliveries this month.

Health Minister Robin Swann said confirmation of which groups will get the vaccine first is due next week.

There will be dummy runs at various locations, and the first administration of the vaccine could happen early next week, BBC News NI understands.

Mr Swann said there was “a long journey ahead of us but we can be optimistic”.

He added: “Vaccinators will be the first to receive the vaccine, followed swiftly by priority groups.

“We are being guided on prioritisation by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation.

“It has identified care home residents and staff and health and social care workers as priority groups.”

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-55190426HELP US SPREAD GOOD NEWS!

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UK – A shrinking epidemic – R rate between 0.8 and 1.0

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Across the UK, the epidemic is falling by between 1% and 3% a day, according to the latest estimates from Sage.

The R values in England, Scotland and Wales are all believed to be between 0.8 and 1.0.

It’s the first time since September that Sage believe that there’s a good chance that infections are falling in every region in England. While official estimates of R in Northern Ireland are around 1, the good news is that infections have been falling since the start of the month, and are lower than the rest of the UK.

Scientists say that these are the two numbers to keep an eye on.

The infection rates from surveys like the one led by the ONS tell us how good or bad things are – how many people have the virus.

And R tells us whether the epidemic is growing (above 1) or shrinking (below 1) – and where we can expect the infection rates to go next.

Falling infections in England, Scotland and Wales are good news – they mean fewer deaths in weeks to come – but infection levels in the three nations are still roughly where they were in the middle weeks of October.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/uk-55184009

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White House considers lifting European travel restrictions

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The White House is considering rescinding entry bans for most non-U.S. citizens who recently were in Brazil, Britain, Ireland and 26 other European countries, five U.S. and airline officials told Reuters.

The Trump administration imposed the bans in a bid to contain the novel coronavirus pandemic. It is not considering lifting separate entry bans on most non-U.S. citizens who have recently been in China or Iran, the officials said.

The plan has won the backing of White House coronavirus task-force members, public health and other federal agencies, the people briefed on the matter said, but President Donald Trump has not made a final decision and the timing remains uncertain.

The White House, Department of Homeland Security and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) did not comment.

Many administration officials argue the restrictions no longer make sense given that most countries around the world are not subject to the entry ban. They contend lifting the restrictions would be a boost to struggling U.S. airlines, which have seen international travel fall by 70%, according to airline industry data.

https://www.reuters.com/article/BigStory12/idUSKBN2851EPHELP US SPREAD GOOD NEWS!

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