Ireland on Friday December 24, reported its highest number of daily COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began but those requiring critical care fell further amid a rapid rollout of booster vaccines to battle a surge of the dominant Omicron variant.
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The health department reported 11,182 positive cases, topping the 8,248 on January 8 during the country's deadliest wave. There were 393 coronavirus patients in hospital on Friday, 89 of whom were in intensive care.
The Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly, has announced an acceleration of Ireland’s COVID-19 vaccination programme.
All age groups will be eligible to receive a booster vaccine by 10 January, in parallel with all children aged 5 to 11 years being offered a primary vaccination dose.
The acceleration will be implemented as follows:
From Wednesday 29 December
• people aged 30 to 39 will be offered the opportunity to receive a booster dose/primary dose in vaccination centres and pharmacies. GPs are already authorised to vaccinate this group
• people aged 16 to 29 who received Janssen will be offered boosters. These will be available through GPs and pharmacies initially. There will then be bespoke clinics running from the following week in vaccination centres to support this group
From Monday 3 January
Vaccination will be offered, in vaccination centres (vaccinations are already available to this group in hospitals) to children aged 5 to 11 years who:
• have a health condition that puts them at risk of severe illness from COVID-19
• live with someone who is at higher risk from COVID-19
From Saturday 8 January
All 5 to 11 year-olds will be offered a primary dose of COVID-19 vaccine. The portal to book an appointment will open on Tuesday 28 December.
From Monday 10 January
All people aged 16 to 29 will be offered a booster dose/primary dose. ■
The General Police Administration announced that the National Bureau of Investigation together with criminal police officers from all police departments in Slovenia are today conducting 58 investigations of residential, commercial and other premises in the area of the police departments of Ljubljana, Kranj, Koper and Nova Gorica, due to the suspicion of 21 criminal acts.