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Early evidence detected of ‘protective impact’ of Covid vaccine

Professor Philip Nolan said it is ‘heartening’ to see ‘strong early evidence of a protective impact of the vaccination’.

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Professor Philip Nolan, chairman of Nphet’s Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group (Brian Lawless/PA)

Professor Philip Nolan, chairman of Nphet’s Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group (Brian Lawless/PA)

Professor Philip Nolan, chairman of Nphet’s Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group (Brian Lawless/PA)

Strong early evidence has been seen in Ireland of a protective impact from the coronavirus vaccine.

As of February 22, 359,616 doses of the coronavirus vaccine – 226,291 first doses and 133,325 second doses – had been administered.

Professor Philip Nolan said “significant progress” is being made in the pandemic.

And “very hearteningly” he said “we are beginning to see strong early evidence of a protective impact of vaccination” in the cohorts who are receiving the jab.

He said the seven-day moving average of cases over the week to Wednesday was 737, down from 816 in the previous week.

The daily number of new cases reported on Thursday was 613.

He said there is also progress in terms of Covid patients in hospitals.

“Even though the number of deaths reported here per days sadly remains high, the seven-day moving average is about half what it was four weeks ago,” he said.

“So we’re seeing continued improvement in all indicators.”

I'm afraid the boring truth is that if people can continue what they are doing we will get there, we are going on the right trackDr Ronan Glynn

Deputy chief medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn said Ireland has gone from being among the worst in the world six, seven weeks ago in relation to the virus, to now being in the top 10 in Europe.

He urged the public to “continue doing what you’re doing” in terms of following public health advice.

“It’s boring, people want me to be able to say do this and that’ll be the panacea, but I’m afraid the boring truth is that if people can continue what they are doing we will get there, we are going on the right track,” he said.

“If people can just stick with this for the next number of weeks and if we can continue to suppress down the numbers, we will be in a much brighter place by the end of March and we’ll be able to give people a lot more certainty about what lies ahead.”

In terms of variants, three cases of the Brazilian variant and 15 cases of the South African variant have been detected in Ireland.

There is also one confirmed case of the B1525 variant – first identified in December in the UK and Nigeria.

Earlier a further 35 deaths of people who had tested positive for coronavirus were notified and another 613 confirmed cases of the virus.

As of 8am, there were 591 Covid-positive patients in hospital, of whom 138 were in intensive care.

PA


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