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Risk of fourth Covid-19 wave if Ireland reopens too soon, Dr Glynn warns

The acting chief medical officer has warned there is ‘considerable risk’ of a fourth wave of Covid-19 if Ireland reopens too soon.

Dr Ronan Glynn will appear before an Oireachtas committee tomorrow to give an update on the fight against the virus.

He will tell TDs and Senators a further wave can be mitigated if social contact remains largely unchanged over the next six weeks.

The warning comes after travel restrictions were eased on Monday.

From today, two households can meet outside for social reasons but not in their gardens.

20km from home

People can also travel anywhere within their own county or 20km from their home.

Meanwhile, the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (Niac) has recommended limiting the use of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine to the over-60s, due to reports of a number of blood clots in younger patients.

The group has told the Department of Health that those under 60 who have received one dose of the vaccine and suffer with high-risk conditions should receive their second dose after 12 weeks as scheduled.

However, Niac recommended that those who are under 60 without high-risk medical conditions have their second dose extended to 16 weeks to allow for further investigation into the matter.

The HSE has confirmed that all scheduled AstraZeneca vaccine appointments scheduled for Tuesday will be cancelled following the recommendation.

Cancelled appointments

A statement read: “The HSE has this evening written to Hospital Groups and Community Healthcare Organisations to advise that all AstraZeneca Covid-19 Vaccination Clinics planned for tomorrow, Tuesday April 13th, should be cancelled in light of updated guidance received from the National Immunisation Advisory Committee, and the Department of Health, this evening.

“Anybody due to attend an Astra Zeneca clinic is therefore advised not to do so. We will be in contact with patients in due course to rearrange their appointment. We apologise for any inconvenience.

“Following full consideration of the updated guidance, the HSE will advise further in terms of wider implications for the administration of the vaccination programme.”

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