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Department considering committee C-TAP recommendation

Government departments have “noted” the Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence recent recommendation that Ireland fully endorses C-TAP, but no decision has yet been made. Inter-departmental talks on the issue continue, this newspaper has been told. The C-TAP international pool aims to make the health technology, intellectual property and data behind Covid-19 treatments and…

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GP vaccination rollout to expand to new cohorts

GPs will in April begin administering vaccines in general practice to people aged 16-69 with medical conditions that put them at very high risk of severe disease and death, according to IMO GP Chairman Dr Denis McCauley. Speaking to the Medical Independent (MI), Dr McCauley said that the IMO was in talks with the HSE…

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Covid outbreaks ‘bigger’ now than in 2020

Outbreaks of Covid-19 are now bigger than they were in 2020 leading to greater spread of disease in the community, according to a leading public health expert. This is due to the prevalence of the B117 or ‘UK’ variant in Ireland since the end of last year, said specialist in public health medicine Dr Ina…

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Over 200 home births in 2020 as pandemic leads to increase

Last year witnessed an over 30 per cent increase in the number of births that took place in homes, according to figures provided to this newspaper by the HSE. An Executive spokesperson told the Medical Independent (MI) that the pandemic has seen an increase in demand for the HSE homebirth service. The spokesperson confirmed that…

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HSE decides not to vaccinate at-risk individuals with mRNA vaccines

mRNA vaccines will not be used to vaccinate individuals with a medical condition that puts them at very-high risk of severe disease and death from Covid-19, it has emerged. This is despite a National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) recommendation that mRNA vaccines should be preferentially given to this group, known as cohort 4. Explaining the decision at…

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Ireland first European state to produce meat plant Covid guidelines

Ireland has become the first European country to produce specific national Covid-19 guidance for meat processing plants (MMPs).  Published recently by the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC), the guidance was developed by a HSE convened multi-agency group; the National Outbreak Control Team (NOCT).  There have been several Covid-19 outbreaks in meat factories in Ireland and…

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Correct diagnosis of genetic condition could help patients stop smoking

New research shows that people diagnosed with a genetic condition, called alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (AATD), are far more likely to stop smoking and therefore prevent the development of lung disease. The study, led by researchers from RCSI University of Medicine and Health Science, is published in COPD: Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. It is…

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