Up to half a million people over the age of 16 who are eligible for a booster shot have yet to resume as use of the Covid-19 vaccine has slowed dramatically.
Two weeks after the mandatory removal of masks, the number of daily infections and patients with Covid-19 in hospitals increased again yesterday.
It sparked a new effort by the HSE to convince people who had received two vaccines and received a booster shot to use the shot.
An HSE spokesman confirmed around 700,000 people aged 16 and over are eligible for the booster shot although this could change with around 200,000 people infected with the virus during the Omicron outbreak having to wait three months before getting their next shot. Tuesday.
Kingston Mills, Professor of Experimental Immunology at Trinity College, said yesterday he was concerned about the potential risk to some people who have just had two vaccines and he encouraged them to use a booster shot. again.
People who have received two vaccines since a relatively mild Covid-19 infection now have a good level of protection from the virus, but the risk remains for some people trying to get a booster shot. .
“Some people think they don’t need booster shots and think the pandemic is over. What’s worrying is that people don’t see this as necessary,” he said.
An HSE spokesman said last week 35,000 Covid-19 vaccines were given, including 21,000 first and second doses and 14,000 booster shots.
“There was significant uptake of the vaccine before Christmas with about 400,000 people vaccinated over a four-day period, and as expected, uptake of the booster shot has slowed since then,” she said. especially in young people.
“HSE will encourage all eligible people to get the vaccine as soon as possible to reduce the severe effects of the disease.”
In addition to those over 16, about 200,000 young adults aged 12 to 15 have recently been eligible for a booster shot.
The number of Covid-19 patients hospitalized yesterday rose to 907 – the highest since mid-January.
However, the number of Covid-19 patients in intensive care fell to 37, the lowest level since August 12.
It is based on a background of high Covid-19 circulation, with 9,186 positive PCR tests and another 6,752 positive at home after performing an antigen test – the highest level since the face mask regulation is lifted.
Although some of these positive tests were carried out from the start of the week through Friday, the trend is still bullish.
About half of all patients hospitalized with Covid-19 are diagnosed after being hospitalized with another illness.
About 57pc of 57pc of Covid-19 positive patients are in direct intensive care due to complications of the virus.
Last week, about six out of 10 intensive care patients with Covid-19 were not in intensive care.
Prof Mills said the true extent of infection was not reflected in the figures because not all people who tested positive at home were registered with HSE and a proportion of those with symptoms mildly do not mind the test.
Over time, booster vaccines are waning in reducing the risk of infection, although they are being very supportive of protecting people from serious illness, he added.
This also goes hand in hand with the fact that the Omicron variant is less severe.
However, he said the more infectious branches of Omicron, the faster-spreading sub-variant BA.2, are likely to play a role in infections.
He said at this time he is not in favor of a second booster vaccination and that it would be wiser to wait until there is an immunization that directly targets the Omicron variant.
In the UK, there is likely to be a second boosted programme, aimed mainly at people aged over 75 and those prone to complications from the virus.
How to respond to an increase in infections will become a major problem for health services that cannot always resort to another complementary measure.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/health/up-to-500000-yet-to-avail-of-covid-19-booster-as-hospitals-under-virus-strain-41437945.html Up to 500,000 still have not used Covid-19 boosters when hospitals have the virus strain