Limerick public heath expert worried over rise in Covid cases

Public Health Medicine Consultant Dr Marie Casey

WITH healthcare professionals braced for a post-Christmas Covid surge, the Department of Public Health Mid-West is urging adults aged 18 and older to avail of their free Covid booster vaccine.

According to the latest available data, there were 272 new Covid cases in the Mid-West during the week ending December 17, which was an increase of 100 cases from the previous week.

A spokesman for the department said they expect the figures to increase significantly because of intensified socialising over the Christmas period.

“We are experiencing a significant increase in Covid infections in the community, which may have a negative impact on healthcare settings, long-term care facilities, and other settings with vulnerable and at-risk people,” he explained.

Public Health Medicine Consultant Dr Marie Casey said that while increases in respiratory infections are expected during a busy winter period, she was particularly concerned about the surge in Covid over the past fortnight which is putting increased pressure on health services.

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“We are asking  people in the 18 to 49 age group to make an appointment to get vaccinated as soon as possible and those in the other adult age groups to check whether they have had the boosters they are entitled to.

“There is room for improvement in the uptake of the boosters across the Mid-West region. If you are eligible and are not up to date with the booster vaccination, please make an appointment to get vaccinated,” Dr Casey added.

It may take up to 14 days for a Covid vaccine booster dose to work, so signing up as soon as possible will give the immune system time to protect against infection.

If you are unsure about your vaccination status you can call HSELive on 1800 700 700, you can also make a vaccination appointment on this number.

You can book a booster appointment online at HSE vaccination clinics on Booster vaccines may also be available at participating pharmacies and GPs.