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Coronavirus: No further deaths and 575 new cases as review of AstraZenaca to take place this week

There have been no further Coronavirus-related deaths and 575 new cases according to figures released by the health authorities this evening.

Of today’s cases just 2 of them are in Laois, meaning the county’s 14-day incidence rate drops to 81.5.

Laois now has the eighth lowest 14-day incidence rate in the country.

Of the cases notified today:

  • 289 are men / 282 are women
  • 73% are under 45 years of age
  • The median age is 30 years old
  • 232 in Dublin, 48 in Meath, 41 in Tipperary, 38 in Kildare, 30 in Galway and the remaining 186 cases are spread across 20 other counties.

As of 8am today, 360 COVID-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 85 are in ICU. 25 additional hospitalisations in the past 24 hours.

As of March 12, 606,904 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Ireland:

  • 443,092 people have received their first dose
  • 163,812 people have received their second dose

Dr Ronan Glynn, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health said: “While there has been a very understandable focus on the vaccine programme over recent days, we must not lose sight of the danger that COVID-19 continues to pose.

“While, in time, vaccines will have a very significant positive impact on COVID, they will not stop a further wave of disease over the coming weeks. We are seeing this play out across Europe with many countries now experiencing pressure on their hospital and critical care capacities. We must not let this happen here.

“Together, we have done an extraordinary job of driving down incidence of disease.

“These efforts are cause for real hope and, if we can return to decreasing indicators of disease, we can continue to protect our loved ones and look forward to much brighter days ahead.”

Professor Karina Butler, Chair of National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) said: “All vaccines authorised for use Ireland are proven to be very effective against severe COVID-19 disease.

“The safety of vaccines is underpinned by the ongoing monitoring that the NIAC, the HPRA and the EMA undertake on a rolling basis.

“We will continue to monitor the situation relating to COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca and if we can be satisfied that these events are coincidental and not caused by this vaccine, we will reassess the situation and our recommendations.

“The HPRA will keep NIAC fully informed as the EMA investigation progresses and we, in turn, will ensure to keep you updated.”

Dr Ray Walley, Member of the National COVID-19 GP Liaison Committee said: “Every medication, including every vaccine, has side effects. Our role as clinicians, is to weigh up the benefits and risks of medications.

“I want to reassure those who have received a COVID-19 vaccine in this country that there are, and continues to be, enormous benefits in the vaccine programme, based on evidence relating to all the vaccines we’re using in this country, including COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca.

“Evidence coming to light from other countries, and here in Ireland, indicates benefits for older people and vulnerable people, in terms of reduced hospitalisation and reduced death, particularly in older and frailer people.

“The temporary deferral of use of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca is necessary in order to give the assurance that we’re taking notice if there are any safety signals at all, any risks that may be identified during the considerable, ongoing monitoring of vaccination programmes internationally, and I hope people take comfort from this cautious approach.”

Professor Philip Nolan, Chair of the NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group, said: “I noted last week that we are also seeing an increase in mobility, and, while some increase is to be expected due to many returning to school, we must continue to be very cautious. Now is not the time to be socialising, it’s just too risky.”

“We must do all we can to continue to suppress this virus and to ensure that as many people as possible get to benefit from vaccination over the coming months.

“Each of us knows the range of tried and trusted tools at our disposal. If we continue to keep our distance, wash our hands, wear face masks and stay home we will continue to drive down transmission of this disease.”

New Cases in Laois

  • March 14 – 2
  • March 13 – 5
  • March 12 – 3
  • March 11 – 2
  • March 10 – 8
  • March 9 – 3
  • March 8 – 1
  • March 7 – 5
  • March 6 – 8
  • March 5 – 5
  • March 4 – 10
  • March 3 – 4
  • March 2 – 11
  • March 1 – 1
  • February 28 – 12

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

  • March 14 – 81.5
  • March 13 – 93.3
  • March 12 – 103.9
  • March 11 – 118.1
  • March 10 – 133.4
  • March 9 – 135.8
  • March 8 – 157
  • March 7 – 168.8
  • March 6 – 177.1
  • March 5 – 183
  • March 4 – 211.3
  • March 3 – 213.7
  • March 2 – 231.4
  • March 1 – 247.9
  • February 28 – 265.7

New cases in Laois during past 14 days

  • March 14 – 69
  • March 13 – 79
  • March 12 – 88
  • March 11 – 100
  • March 10 – 113
  • March 9 – 115
  • March 8 – 133
  • March 7 – 143
  • March 6 – 150
  • March 5 – 155
  • March 4 – 179
  • March 3 – 181
  • March 2 – 196
  • March 1 – 210
  • February 28 – 225

Review of AstraZenaca this week 

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) is expected to complete its safety review of issues relating to the AstraZeneca vaccine this week.

It follows the temporary suspension of the use of the vaccine by a growing number of countries in Europe, including Ireland.

The EMA said its safety committee will review the information tomorrow on the AstraZeneca vaccine and will hold an extraordinary meeting on Thursday to conclude the issues.

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Stradbally native Alan Hartnett is a graduate of Knockbeg College who has worked in the local and national media since 2008. Alan has a BA in Economics, Politics and Law and an MA in Journalism from DCU. His happiest moment was when Jody Dillon scored THAT goal in the Laois senior football final in 2016.