The fourth wave of Covid-19 is a “pandemic of the unvaccinated” and almost half of people in hospital have not received the jab, the Tanaiste has said .
Leo Varadkar warned the virus is now looking for people that are not vaccinated.
He said that more than 700,000 people have now received their third dose and there was “growing evidence” of stabilisation in the number of Covid cases and the positivity rate.
“So essentially what’s happening is the virus is looking for people that are unvaccinated,” the Fine Gael leader said.
“Cases are actually now falling among the over-75s and starting to stabilise in the wider population.
“This is a pandemic of the unvaccinated. Roughly half of the people in hospital at the moment are not vaccinated.
“Unfortunately children aged between five and 11 cannot be vaccinated yet so they are now more vulnerable than they have been in the past.”
Chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan advised that children aged between five and 11 should avoid indoor activities.
The National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) also recommend that children over the age of nine should wear masks.
Cabinet is to consider the advice next week.
On Thursday, HSE chief executive Paul Reid said that 52% of people in intensive care units are unvaccinated, with 47% fully vaccinated and 1% partially vaccinated.