There have been no further deaths and 575 more Covid-19 cases, the Department of Health confirmed today.
This brings the total number of cases in the country to 227,316 and the total number of coronavirus related deaths to 4,534.
Of the cases notified today:
As of 8am today, 360 Covid-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 85 are in ICU. There were 25 additional hospitalisations in the past 24 hours.
As of March 12, 606,904 doses of Covid-19 vaccine have been administered in Ireland. 443,092 people have received their first dose and 163,812 people have received their second dose.
This comes as the Oxford/ AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine has been paused for use in Ireland.
Chair of the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) Professor Karina Butler said the suspension of the AstraZeneca vaccine will continue to be monitored.
“We will continue to monitor the situation relating to COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca and if we can be satisfied that these events are coincidental and not caused by this vaccine, we will reassess the situation and our recommendations,” she said.
“The HPRA will keep NIAC fully informed as the EMA investigation progresses and we, in turn, will ensure to keep you updated.”
Deputy CMO Dr Ronan Glynn said despite the focus on the vaccine programme over recent days, “we must not lose sight of the danger that Covid-19 continues to pose.”
He added: “While, in time, vaccines will have a very significant positive impact on Covid, they will not stop a further wave of disease over the coming weeks.
“We are seeing this play out across Europe with many countries now experiencing pressure on their hospital and critical care capacities. We must not let this happen here.”
Speaking at a Nphet briefing this evening, Dr Ray Walley, member of the National Covid-19 GP Liaison Committee said every medication has side effects, and is reassuring those who have received the vaccines of it’s effectiveness.
“Every medication, including every vaccine, has side effects,” he said.
“Our role as clinicians, is to weigh up the benefits and risks of medications. I want to reassure those who have received a Covid-19 vaccine in this country that there are, and continues to be, enormous benefits in the vaccine programme, based on evidence relating to all the vaccines we’re using in this country, including Covid-19 vaccine AstraZeneca.
“The temporary deferral of use of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca is necessary in order to give the assurance that we’re taking notice if there are any safety signals at all, any risks that may be identified during the considerable, ongoing monitoring of vaccination programmes internationally, and I hope people take comfort from this cautious approach.”