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Weekly Update Ireland (Last Update: 21.06.2021)
HSE Cyber Attack
Paul Reid, Chief Executive at the HSE has said that a “very significant number” of systems were back up and running after last month’s ransomware attack, but warned that hospitals are still operating with “one hand tied behind their back” as health service IT systems could take several months to fully fix.
Some services are still unable to access patient information and there are problems with the transfer of patient information between hospitals. Mr Reid expressed appreciation for the forbearance of patients and said that good progress is being made each week.
Most out-patient appointments are expected to go ahead as planned, although many x-ray appointments have been cancelled. Staff do not have access to email at this time. Anyone needing to contact a hospital is asked to make contact via phone.
Emergency departments remain open for all medical emergencies but are very busy due to the IT outage. Expect significant delays. Only those in need of urgent medical care should attend.
COVID Vaccination Programme Update
The HSE has confirmed that it will reduce the gap between AstraZeneca doses from 12 to 8 weeks for some 450,000 people. HSE CEO Paul Reid explained that the HSE's decision to reduce the gap between AstraZeneca doses from 12 weeks to eight weeks has been made in an effort to curb the effect of the Delta variant, which has led to a new surge in the UK.
New evidence shows that two doses of the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines provide protection of over 90% against the Delta variant. International research findings suggest the Pfizer vaccine is 96% effective against hospitalisation after two doses, with the AstraZeneca vaccine 92% effective.
3.25 million vaccines have been administered to date.
Anyone in contact with a person who has COVID-19 is advised to make contact with the HSE. This can be done by phone: 1850 24 1850, or via the HSE website.
If you are unwell with any symptoms, such as a cough, high temperature, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing and/or fever, you should isolate yourself from others immediately and phone your GP.
There is now a dedicated HSE advice centre for COVID-19 related travel queries.
The number to call is (01) 613 1733.
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