Philip Nolan, Chair of the NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group delivering a press briefing on COVID-19 this afternoon in the Department of Health
Department of Health, Dublin 2.
Professor Philip Nolan, Chair of the NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group, said the median age of today’s Covid cases is 24.
He said at the moment it is a disease of young people dominated by those aged 19 to 24, followed by those aged 13 to 18, but in that age group it is mostly 16- and 17-year-olds followed by those aged 25 to 34.
“The current trajectory of the more transmissible Delta variant across the country means that unvaccinated people remain at high risk of contracting Covid-19.
“The pace at which our vaccination programme is operating means that it will not be long before you can avail of a vaccine. In the meantime, unvaccinated people should take all public health precautions to avoid contracting the disease.”
Professor Karina Butler, Chair of the National Immunisation Advisory Committee this afternoon
Professor Karina Butler, Chair of the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC), said clinical trials estimated efficacy of both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines as 100% in the 12-15 age group, “making them extremely effective in preventing infection in this age cohort”.
“I would strongly encourage those aged 12-15 years of age with underlying medical conditions, those living with a younger child with complex medical needs, or with an immuno-compromised adult to accept vaccination as soon as it is offered,” she said.
Prof Butler said it is very reasonable for parents to pause and think about whether they need their children to get vaccinated.
Overwhelmingly, Covid is a mild disease in children and most children will be asymptomatic or have only mild symptoms, she said.
However, there will be a number of children who will have severe symptoms and be hospitalised – less than 1%.
….Prof Butler said taking all factors into account, and looking at the impact of the pandemic on children – an increase in anxiety, an increase in eating disorders, fear of mingling, a feeling that adults are pulling away from them, and disruption to their normal growth and development – they felt that the benefits of vaccination exceeded any risk.