Things can ‘get back to normal’ if we can get all adults vaccinated, says Mills

There is every reason to be optimistic if “almost all” those over 18 are vaccinated against Covid-19 by the end of August, that “hospitalization rates will remain low”.

This is according to the Professor of Experimental Immunology at Trinity College in Kingston Mills who said there was “a lot of pessimism in some circles” regarding the treatment of Covid-19 variants such as the Delta variant.

“I’m more optimistic because I think vaccines do a great job,” he said.

Professor Mills’ comments come as the Department of Health reported another 576 cases of Covid-19 on Sunday. The number of patients treated in the hospital is 58, including 16 in intensive care.

Professor Mills said “especially if we get this million extra doses of the Romanian Pfizer vaccine, I think it could put us in a very good position by the end of August where almost everyone in the adult population over 18 would be vaccinated. . “

Professor Mills said that although “the numbers have increased slightly”, the vaccine’s job was to stop the spread of the virus in the community “and it is doing it.”

“So I would be optimistic that hospitalizations will not increase and I think we will definitely see more cases and the numbers increase, a significant number of them are mild or even asymptomatic cases.”

“If we can get everyone to [over 18 years of age] vaccinated and then we start with the youngest, the under-18 cohort, I think we can get back to normal ”.

He said the “good news” was that the vaccine makers were already testing or were ready to test new versions of the vaccines designed specifically to protect against the Delta variant.

But Prof Mills said Ireland still had to take action to limit transmission of the virus and that the “elephant in the room” was the service staff in the indoor dining rooms, who were very often young people.

Speaking on Newstalk’s On the Record show with Gavin Reilly, Prof Mills said the country should always “do whatever we can to reduce transmission as much as possible and it is a combination of vaccination and d ‘other measures that minimize the chances of people passing the infection on to others, and we are doing it.’

He said: “Ireland takes a very reasonable approach in this regard. I mean, I have to say I was – a lot of scientists were – shocked at the position the UK took on this matter [in reopening the country and declaring July 19th freedom day]. For two or three more weeks, they could vaccinate most of their adult population, ”he said.

On the reopening of indoor dining rooms, Prof Mills said he did not want to “get caught up in a debate about reopening” because of those “who target people who comment on pubs and restaurants. restaurants that do not reopen “. But he said that “common sense” was that events indoors, whether in a pub or a home or a workplace, when people “” are not wearing masks and you are not wearing masks. your distances from someone, then it is a driver for the spread of the virus which is indisputable and scientifically proven. This is the fact “.

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