THE impact of the Covid-19 vaccine rollout is apparent as HSE figures show a significant drop in the virus among residents of nursing homes and residential institutions in Waterford between January and February.
A previous report by this newspaper revealed that there were at least 23 deaths in Waterford nursing homes between December and the middle of January. Freedom of Information documents showed that across 14 Waterford nursing homes, the number of residents confirmed as having tested positive for Covid-19 was 163 for the period 1 December – 18 January.
A follow-up FOI request revealed that between mid January and mid February there were a total of 45 nursing home and residential institution residents in Waterford who tested positive for Covid-19, a significant drop from 163 in the month prior.
Deaths were also significantly lower, as four of five homes, which had Covid-19 positive residents, had no deaths in the period, while one home had less than five deaths.
One nursing home had 23 positive Covid residents, while another had 14 positive cases, and the others had 4, 2 and 2.
Figures of confirmed cases of Covid-19 and deaths related to Covid-19 in Waterford nursing homes were collated by the HSE in the South East and released to the Waterford News & Star under the Freedom of Information Act.
The vaccine impact has resulted in reduced levels of mortality, reduced levels of sickness and reduced levels of hospitalisations. There has also been a decline in healthcare workers out of work due to the virus.
As of last week, 25% of eligible adults in Ireland have now received at least a first dose of one of the four Covid-19 vaccines available.
Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan said that while the public should “remain cautious”, we can also be “cautiously optimistic”.
“Our vaccination programme, alongside the continued commendable adherence of the vast majority of people in Ireland to the public health advice, are the key to exiting this pandemic in the coming months,” he said