Young people are being praised for putting Covid on a “downward curve”
The impact of vaccination on young people has made high-level government officials and health leaders optimistic that the country’s Covid-19 infection rate is falling.
Health Minister Stephen Donnelly said on Sunday evening that the number of cases among 15- to 24-year-olds “has been falling significantly and for some time”.
He told the Irish Times that cases in these groups, “which were very, very high, have decreased significantly”.
Mr Donnelly said younger people have shown positive attitudes towards vaccines.
“We have seen a really positive reception from the younger age groups. At first it was unclear how it would turn out [for these age groups] in Ireland and other countries as these age groups are actually attacked with a lot of misinformation on social media.
“When the 18-25 age group came to the vaccination centers, it was clear that some had heard of conspiracy theories and anti-Vaxx stuff.”
However, Mr Donnelly said the vast majority had chosen to trust the vaccines.
“When we opened the portal for 16 to 17 year olds, the demand was very high.
“With the age group 12-15 we took a different approach, we talked to the parents, but vaccination centers report that the 12-15 year olds themselves asked to return to normal”. It was all very positive. “
Green leader Eamon Ryan also attributed the decline to high vaccine intake among the youth. “The falling number of cases is particularly noticeable in younger age groups, which are tending to decline.
“It’s really encouraging and starting to work and will help keep these numbers on a downward curve.”
The development is happening as another set of Covid-19 restrictions are eased starting today.
Organized indoor events can be held with 60 percent capacity restrictions where all guests are immune – fully vaccinated or recovered from Covid-19 within the last six months. There will be a capacity of 75 percent for organized outdoor events.
Live music is allowed to begin “taking appropriate protective factors into account”, while cinemas and theaters can be operated with a capacity of up to 60 percent.
Religious ceremonies can be carried out with 50 percent of the event capacity regardless of the participants’ immunity status.
An additional 1,180 confirmed cases of Covid-19 were reported in the state on Sunday.
In Northern Ireland, another seven people died of Covid-19 while 1,232 tested positive for the virus.
HSE testing and tracing program director Niamh O’Beirne said Sunday that referrals for testing in 15- to 24-year-olds had fallen back to older age groups.
Regardless, HSE boss Paul Reid predicted on Sunday that 90 percent of adults will be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 in the coming week.
However, Mr Donnelly said one concern he continues to have is the increase in cases among the elderly. “The numbers have increased and this is where the risk lies. For example, three quarters of hospital admissions are over 50 years old. The median age at death for August was 82 years.
“One of the problems we have is that unvaccinated people get very sick.
“There are also underlying issues like immunodeficiency and high blood pressure, vaccination status, age, and underlying diseases,” he said.
The HSE also announced on Sunday that there are 800 schools nationwide in which a child suffering from Covid had attended.
It was said that close contacts between these children were now being tested.
About 500 of these children attended elementary school, 300 attended the second level.