A further 12 Covid-related deaths have been recorded today by the Department of Health.
All 12 of these deaths occurred in February and the median age of the fatalities is 76.
The age range of the 12 new deaths is between 60 and 90.
From 2pm this afternoon, 1,204 patients have been hospitalised with Covid-19, 178 of them are in intensive care.
35 people were admitted to hospital in the past 24 hours while 25 people have been discharged.
In addition, 1,024 new cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed.
203,568 cases of the virus have been reported since the outbreak began in Ireland.
The national 14-day incidence rate per 100,000 of the population is now 338.2.
A breakdown of today’s case data provided by the Department of Health shows:
- 490 cases are men and 533 are women
- 65% of cases are under 45 years of age
- The median age of confirmed cases is 35 years old
In Dublin, 380 were reported followed by 63 in Cork. Gawlay confirmed 55 cases while Limerick reported 48. The remaining 408 cases are spread across all other counties.
Speaking this evening after the case data was announced, Dr Cillian de Gascun, chair of the National Public Health Emergency Team’s Covid-19 Expert Advisory Group said the benefits of the vaccines will become apparent when case numbers fall further.
“We’ll see the benefit over the coming months. If we can get down to very low case numbers, we will get a significant benefit from the vaccine, because what we will see,
“As we can move to ease restrictions and as we can move to open up elements of society, because of the impact of vaccination, we should get more bang for our buck,” he said.
In Northern Ireland, 334 more cases of Covid 19 have been confirmed in the last 24 hours.
Nine people have also suffered Covid-related deaths in the North.
The latest confirmed cases and deaths follow an admission from the CEO of the HSE, Paul Reid, that the over-70s will not be fully vaccinated until the middle of May.
The state’s vaccine plan has had to be revised amid issues over supply and advice from the Chief Medical Officer that the AstraZeneca vaccine should not be used in the over-70s because of lack of proof of its efficacy.
The decision not to use AstraZeneca on over-70s has caused a considerable headache for health officials, removing one option from their vaccination rollout plan.
This is due to the fact that both Pzifer and Moderna require very cold temperatures to store the vials and have a short shelf-life after they are removed from refrigeration.
However, the next phase of the rollout will start on schedule with the over-85s in the week starting February 15.
“Ultimately it’s a clinical decision about the best vaccine to utilise for the most vulnerable population,
“So it’s really that we are utilising the one that at this stage has the most data available to give the highest levels of protection,” said Mr Reid.