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- Irish Fianna Fáil politician
More than 386,000 people have received a booster jab this week, giving Ireland the second highest uptake rate in the EU, Stephen Donnelly said.
The Minister for Health said that 83,872 vaccines were administered on Thursday.
So far this week, over 8,200 people went for their first vaccine dose or second vaccine dose.
Mr Donnelly welcomed the significant uptake in booster vaccines this week.
Thank you to all our health and social care workers, who have done such an outstanding job throughout another challenging year. Would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas @roinnslainte @HSELive @AmbulanceNAS pic.twitter.com/y5nR43J2vI
— Stephen Donnelly (@DonnellyStephen) December 24, 2021
People have received a booster dose of Covid-19 vaccines in a combination of walk-in vaccination centres, appointments based systems in vaccination centres and from GP and pharmacies.
A total of 1.84m additional Covid-19 vaccines have been administered since this programme began.
The increased vaccination rate came as Ireland recorded its highest number of cases on any one day since the pandemic began, with 11,182 new cases.
As of 8am on Friday, 393 Covid-19 patients were in hospital, 89 of them in intensive care.
The Department of Health estimates that approximately 83% of reported cases are now due to the Omicron variant.
Mr Donnelly also thanked pharmacists and GPs for their part in the national vaccine rollout.
He said the HSE had progressed a number of significant changes in recent weeks to accelerate the booster rollout.
“I don’t underestimate the logistical challenges that these demands have placed on the HSE, but it has responded brilliantly,” he said.
2021 continued to be a challenging year and I am very aware of the sacrifices many of you made so that you could provide the best care to patients and your communities.
“I’d like to thank everyone working in our health and social care services.
“That includes everyone working in our hospitals and in the community, as well as those working in GP and dental practices, pharmacies, nursing homes, our ambulance service, the Department of Health and other public bodies and teams.”
Mr Donnelly also thanked those working in the health and social care sector.
“You have been at the forefront of this pandemic for almost two years,” he added.
“2021 continued to be a challenging year and I am very aware of the sacrifices many of you made so that you could provide the best care to patients and your communities.
“The sacrifices you made will inevitably have impacted on your family and personal lives. I hope you get some well-deserved down-time this Christmas and would like to wish you and your loved ones a safe and happy Christmas.”
Deputy chief medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn said that incidence rates of Covid-19 were increasing across all age groups.
“Here are five things you can do to keep yourself and your loved ones as safe as possible,” he added.
“If you have even mild symptoms of a cold or flu, then isolate and stay away from others.
“If someone in your household has a positive antigen or PCR test, everyone should restrict movements – do not meet up with others.
“Anyone who has arrived from overseas should do daily antigen tests for five days.
Incidence of #COVID19 is now increasing across all age groups. Here are 5 things you can do to keep yourself & your loved ones as safe as possible
1⃣If you have even mild symptoms of a cold or 'flu then isolate & stay away from others#ForUsAll
— Dr Ronan Glynn (@ronan_glynn) December 24, 2021
“If a test detects virus or if they develop any symptoms, regardless of a test result, they should isolate immediately and book a PCR test.
“Given the level of virus now circulating, you should assume that you or those you meet are potentially infectious.
“Therefore, avoid crowds or poorly ventilated spaces, wear a mask, keep distance and keep your bubble as small as possible.
“Be especially careful if meeting older or vulnerable people. If you have met with lots of people this week, do not put others at risk.
“This is a difficult message at this time but is important if we are to keep each other safe.”