News

Covid: 4,791 new cases as booster vaccination clinic for healthcare workers to open in Waterford

Muireann Duffy and Julie Smyth

The Department of Health has confirmed 4,791 new cases of Covid-19 as concerns over the new Omicron variant mount.

At 8am on Saturday morning, there were 536 people in hospital with the virus, down 36 on Friday's figures.

There are 20 patients being treated with the virus at University Hospital Waterford, two of those are being treated in ICU.

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Of the total number of people hospitalised due to Covid, 118 were receiving treatment in intensive care units, a decrease of eight from Friday.

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Concern regarding the high incidence of the virus in Ireland and speculation about the need for further restrictions over the coming weeks were heightened on Friday with the World Health Organisation's (WHO) confirmation that the B.1.1.529 Covid strain would be classed as a 'variant of concern', assigning its name, Omicron.

There are worries mutations in the strain may lead to increased transmissibility and immunity resistance, however, experts are stressing they do not yet know enough about the variant to be sure.

Booster Clinics

The news came as walk-in centres around the county began offering Covid-19 booster jabs to people aged 60-69 and healthcare workers earlier this week.

In Waterford the walk-in booster vaccination clinic will open on Sunday between 2pm and 5pm at the WIT Arena.

It's for healthcare workers only who will need to show their employee ID.

People are being reminded they will need to have an appropriate gap since their last vaccination - either five months or three months if you had the single-dose Janssen vaccine.

The Government and public health officials continue to urge the public to get the initial course of the vaccine if they have not already done so, and to accept the booster when offered if they are already fully-vaccinated.

On Friday, TΓ‘naiste Leo Varadkar described the fourth wave of the virus as a "pandemic of the unvaccinated", explaining that almost half of people in hospital have not received the jab.

Information on the location of vaccination centres around the country can be found on the HSE website.

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