The number of patients hospitalized with Covid-19 has passed the 1,000 mark for the first time since April.
After weeks of the summer Covid-19 wave, the number of patients with Covid-19 reached 1,055 this morning, including 38 in intensive care.
The weekend effect is expected to lag some of the higher numbers with a slowdown in discharges.
About half of those infected with Covid-19 are in hospital due to complications of the virus, with the rest being accidental.
The hope is that the wave will peak and plateau shortly, but it will take time for hospital numbers to have an impact.
It comes as the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) recommend that second booster doses of mRNA Covid-19 vaccines be given to people aged 60-79 and people with medical conditions being considered they are at high risk for serious medical conditions.
But at the moment there is no clear evidence that people under the age of 60 who are not at higher risk of serious illness are given a second booster shot. There is also no clear evidence that medical workers or people working in long-term care homes receive an early second booster shot unless they are at high risk.
Last April, both agencies recommended that people over the age of 80 consider a second booster shot. However, authorities noted at the time that there may be a need to consider second booster shots in people aged 60 to 79 and at-risk people of all ages if there is a flare-up of infections.
The agencies said that with a new wave of rising hospital and intensive care unit (ICU) admission rates currently underway in Europe, it is crucial health authorities now consider people aged 60 to 79, as well as vulnerable people of all ages, for a second booster. These could be given at least four months after the previous one, with a focus on people who received a previous booster shot more than 6 months ago.
Currently approved vaccines remain highly effective in reducing Covid-19 hospitalizations, serious illness and deaths associated with emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants.
In Ireland, anyone over 65 and over 12 who are severely immunocompromised are offered a second booster shot.
Stella Kyriakides, European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, said: “Our Covid-19 vaccines are working and providing good protection against serious illness and hospitalisation. With cases and hospitalizations picking up again as the summer season begins, I urge everyone to get vaccinated and boosted as soon as possible. There’s no time to lose.
“I call on Member States to immediately introduce second booster shots for everyone over 60, as well as anyone at risk, and I call on everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated. This is how we protect ourselves, our loved ones and our vulnerable populations.”
“We are currently seeing increasing reporting rates of Covid-19 cases and an increasing trend in hospital admissions and occupancy in intensive care units in several countries, which is mainly due to Omicron’s BA 5 subline,” said Dr. Andrea Ammon, Director of ECDC.
“This signals the start of a new widespread wave of COVID-19 across the European Union. There are still too many individuals at risk of severe COVID-19 infection that we need to protect as soon as possible. We must remind people of the importance of vaccination from the very first shot to the second booster shot. We have to start today.
“We anticipate that adults 60 years and older and medically vulnerable populations will require a second booster shot. These are the groups most at risk of serious illness and giving these groups a second booster shot now will avert a significant number of Covid hospitalizations and deaths.
“I recognize that achieving this goal will require significant effort from health authorities and society at large. But now, at the start of a new wave, it’s time to make an extra effort. We have several safe and effective vaccines available and every single Covid infection prevented now is a potential life saved.
There is currently no clear evidence that a second booster dose should be given to people under the age of 60 who are not at higher risk of serious illness. There is also no clear evidence that medical workers or people working in long-term care homes receive an early second booster shot unless they are at high risk.
Visit our Covid-19 vaccine dashboard for updates on the launch of the vaccination program and the rate of coronavirus cases in Ireland
https://www.independent.ie/world-news/coronavirus/covid-hospitalisations-pass-1000-for-first-time-since-april-amid-booster-calls-for-over-60s-41830327.html Covid hospitalizations surpass 1,000 for first time since April amid refresher calls for over-60s