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Coronavirus: Eight more deaths and 2,121 new cases – 24 of them in Laois as controversy continues over Coombe vaccinations

Deputy CMO Dr Ronan Glynn

There have been a further eight Coronavirus-related deaths and 2,121 new cases, according to figures released by the health authorities today.

24 of the new cases are in Laois, meaning the county’s 14-day incidence rate falls to 898.5, from 964.6 yesterday. The national 14-day rate now stands at 1,404.2.

At the peak in April, the Laois figure was 183.01, in the localised lockdown in August it peaked at 81.47 while in October it reached 256.21.

There are now 761 confirmed active cases in the county, compared to 817 yesterday.

All 8 of today’s notified deaths occurred in January.

The median age of those who died is 85 years and the age range is 49-93 years. There are no newly reported deaths in healthcare workers. There are no newly reported deaths in a young person under the age of 30.

There has been a total of 2,616 COVID-19 related deaths in Ireland.

Of the cases notified today:

  • 992 are men / 1,117 are women
  • 58% are under 45 years of age
  • The median age is 39 years old
  • 753 in Dublin, 236 in Cork, 142 in Wexford, 126 in Kildare, 109 in Limerick and the remaining 755 cases are spread across all other counties.

As of 2pm today, 1,975 COVID-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 200 are in ICU. 102 additional hospitalisations in the past 24 hours.

Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, said; “This third wave of the pandemic has seen higher level of hospitalisations across all age groups. There are now more sick people in hospital than any time in the course of this pandemic. The risk that this disease poses to the individual who is infected has not changed.

“What has changed is that we are experiencing a much greater level of community transmission and as a result we are seeing higher numbers of people with severe illness who require hospitalisation or admission to intensive care and higher numbers of mortality. Please continue to stay at home and drive down this infection in our community.”

Dr. Ronan Glynn, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health said; “Our survey data indicates that 60% report contacting older relatives and friends to ensure they are okay.

“Providing support and reassurance to older and more vulnerable members of society is an important part of our collective response to this pandemic. Our sense of community and support for each other must remain a key part of our armoury against COVID-19.”

Dr. Lorraine Nolan, Chief Executive, Health Products Regulatory Authority, said; “Up to the 11th of January, the HPRA received a total of 81 reports of suspected side effects associated with the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.

“All reports were generally consistent with those typically observed with other vaccines and included events of a mild to moderate nature which resolved or were resolving at the time of reporting.

“Among those most frequently reported were abdominal pain, nausea, fatigue, joint pain and pains in the arms, some experience of dizziness, headache, itching and a rash – all consistent with the known and anticipated side effects as emerged during the clinical trials.

“While the relatively mild effects described are of course uncomfortable for those who experience them, they do pass quickly and generally do not require any medical treatment.

“Safety monitoring of all medicines, including vaccines, is central to the remit of the HPRA and we intend to publish a regular update of the number and nature of reports regarding suspected side effects with COVID-19 vaccines, as the vaccination roll-out continues.”

Dr. Vida Hamilton, National Clinical Advisor and Group Lead, Acute Hospitals, HSE, said: “We are now one week operating in critical surge capacity, the first time we have had to rely on this during the pandemic.

“Our staff escalation plan is in operation and we are very grateful for the non-critical care staff who are supporting the delivery of these critical services. Patients across the health service are very sick. The message from your healthcare workers is to please stay at home and continue to interrupt the spread of COVID-19.

New Cases in Laois

  • January 17 – 24
  • January 16 – 62
  • January 15 – 48
  • January 14 – 53
  • January 13 – 60
  • January 12 – 45
  • January 11 – 40
  • January 10 – 63
  • January 9 – 105
  • January 8 – 6
  • January 7 – 55
  • January 6 – 82
  • January 5 – 107
  • January 4 – 12

14-day case rate in Laois per 100,000 population

  • January 17 – 898.5
  • January 16 – 964.6
  • January 15 – 935.1
  • January 14 – 1001.2
  • January 13 – 952.8
  • January 12 – 941
  • January 11 – 913.8
  • January 10 – 911.5
  • January 9 – 843
  • January 8 – 722.6
  • January 7 – 742.6
  • January 6 – 689.5
  • January 5 – 606.9
  • January 4 – 493.5

New cases in Laois during past 14 days

    • January 17 – 761
    • January 16 – 817
    • January 15 – 792
    • January 14 – 848
    • January 13 – 807
    • January 12 – 797
    • January 11 – 774
    • January 10 – 772
    • January 9 – 714
    • January 8 – 612
    • January 7 – 629
    • January 6 – 584
    • January 5 – 514
    • January 4 – 418

Controversy over Coombe Hospital vaccinations 

The HSE only issued guidance on what to do with excess vaccines four days after the Coombe Hospital in Dublin administer 16 ‘spare’ vaccines to family members.

They carried out those vaccines on January 8, with HSE guidance not coming until January 12.

The Coombe Hospital has said that by 9pm on Friday 8 January there were 16 vaccine doses left after 1,100 staff, GPs and local community health workers were vaccinated.

In a statement, a spokesperson said that if the doses had not been administered they would have been discarded.

It goes on to say that the Health Service Executive booking system and portal was not yet live and as such it was not possible to pre-book vaccinations and therefore be certain of the number of vaccinations required.

The spokesperson said that the hospital worked throughout the day, reconstituting the vials and making vaccines available to frontline workers.

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