Vaccine programme continues at pace

January 19, 2021


People who are most at risk from COVID-19 are set to get the Pfizer/BioNtech vaccine first.

That includes people aged 65 years and older living in long-term care facilities. This will be followed by frontline healthcare workers.

The target date for vaccinating priority Group 1 nationally is the end of next month, February 28.

To meet the demand and manage the roll-out of vaccinations at nursing home settings across the country, a memo was issued to staff at Cavan General Hospital at the weekend informing them that vaccine deliveries had been postponed until next week.

It is intended to vaccinate staff in all ICU and Covid wards.

More than 100 staff at Cavan General received their first of two doses of the vaccine last week. A similar number were scheduled to receive the vaccine this week.

As of 8pm on Monday night last, there were 72 patients are being treated at Cavan General, four in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), and one available bed at the hospital.

Nationally, up to Wednesday of last week, January 13, 77,303 people had received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Of this number, 69,378 were frontline health care workers and the remaining 7,925 were residents and staff in long-term care facilities.

A spokesperson for the HSE stated that “plans must be flexible” to accommodate unforeseen events, which may be operational or as a result of outbreaks of any contagious illness.

“In the event of an outbreak in a residential care facility, a public health risk assessment is carried out to ensure the safety and well-being of all residents and staff. All public health guidelines and advice will be followed in such an instance and applied to any planned vaccine roll-out,” they stated.

Meanwhile, the Irish Blood Transfusion Board (IBTB) was forced to cancel three clinics in Cavan last week following a concern over a possible COVID-19 close contact case within the IBTS collection team. The service had to call off their scheduled collection in the Kingscourt area.

A spokesperson for the IBTS confirmed that subsequent COVID-19 testing of the team “proved negative”, and the service has apologised for any “inconvenience” caused to donors who made appointments to attend the affected clinics.

The three cancelled clinics will all be rescheduled in the near future, the IBTS has said.

Testing rates

More than 800 people were tested for Covid in County Cavan the week up to last Monday, January 17.

On the same day, 52 people tested positive for infection in Cavan, giving the county a 14-day incidence rate of 1413.8 per 100,000 population, around midway on the chart nationally. The national average is 1404.2 cases per 100,000 people.

Neighbouring Monaghan is still displaying the highest rate of infection, with a 14-day incidence rate almost double that of Cavan at 2749.8/100K. In those two weeks 1,688 have tested positive for Covid in County Monaghan, and 1,077 in County Cavan.

However, there continues to be a high rate of no shows for testing. Last week 8.5% of those scheduled to attend for testing at Ballinagh Health Centre did not appear.

In Monaghan, out of 1,060 tested at Cloghan GAA grounds, 10.4% did not show up.

The number of people who have tested positive for Covid in Cavan now stands at at almost 4,000 (3,948), with more than a quarter of those cases accounted for since the start of the year.

In Monaghan, the number of Covid cases has exceeded 3,800, almost 45% of which have been recorded since the January 4.


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