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CMO says mRNA vaccines are best for people over the age of 70

DUBLIN: Chief Medical Officer Dr. Tony Holohan said the mRNA vaccinesare the best vaccines that can be given to people over 70 years of age. He also confirmed that more people will be vaccinated in the coming weeks.

“We know that the over 70s have suffered the greatest burden of mortality and serious illness from Covid-19. Ireland is now in a good position; we can now offer highly effective and safe vaccines to this cohort,” Dr. Holohan said.

“The superior efficacy demonstrated by the mRNA vaccines authorised for use in Ireland, Pfizer BioNTech and Moderna mean that the mRNA vaccines are the right vaccine to provide the highest level of protection available to those over 70,” he said.

He reminded that even if a person is vaccinated, he should continue to take steps to prevent the virus. “Until we have all been vaccinated, we must act as though none of us have been vaccinated,” he said.

Meanwhile, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar told the Dáil that the decision not to use the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine for people over the age of 70 would slow down the vaccine supply to that group. But he said, vaccination for health workers and others would be accelerated. He made it clear that Pfizer or Moderna mRNA vaccines would be given to those over 70 years of age.

The Health Service executive said that almost 2,20,000 COVID-19 vaccines have been administered. 51,200 vaccinations were given last week. Of the 44,900 people in critical hospitals, 1,500 were given the first dose and 43,400 the second.

COVID-19 outbreaks increased in workplace

Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr. Ronan Glynn said COVID outbreaks in many workplaces have increased in the past four weeks compared to the end of 2020. He added that there are outbreaks in the Travelling community and in Direct Provision. Data shows that most people take three days or longer to come forward after their symptoms first appear, he said.

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