There were 438 new cases of Covid-19 reported across the country today.
It comes as the chief executive of the HSE, Paul Reid, has indicated the organisation will not be administering AstraZeneca or Janssen vaccines to people in their 40s.
Currently, the use of the two vaccines is limited to those aged 50 and over. However, revised advice from the National Immunisation Advisory Committee had cleared the way for their use on those in the 40 to 49-year age-group under strict conditions.
The restrictions were applied after a link was identified between the vaccines and very rare serious blood clots.
The HSE has been tasked with “operationalising” this recommendation in the context of limited or uncertain future supplies of the two vaccines, and stable deliveries of the other two authorised vaccines, Pfizer and Moderna.
Speaking on today, Mr Reid said the HSE has already started calling forward people in their 40s for vaccination.
Under the NIAC advice, a person could be offered the Janssen or AstraZeneca vaccines if they were available in advance of the other two vaccines.
But he said “we really don’t see that as a factor now for ourselves” because of the progress made in overall vaccine rollout. Most AstraZeneca supplies will be used for second doses while there is only a “limited supply” of Janssen.
Almost 300,000 people will be vaccinated in the coming week, he pointed out. Progress on vaccinations is “really strong” with well over 2.4 million people having received at least one dose.
Asked about warnings by public health officials in the mid-west of a rise in Covid-19 cases, Mr Reid told RTE Radio’s This Week programme it was an “early warning for everybody that this is very much still with us”.
In Northern Ireland there have been 77 additional positive cases of Covid-19 in the past 24 hours, according to the Department of Health. No further deaths have been recorded.