A total of 4,152 new cases of Covid have ben confirmed today.
The Department of Health has also confirmed there have been 81 deaths connected with the virus in the past week.
There are now 543 people in hospital who have tested positive for the virus with 118 of these in ICU.
The new deaths bring to 5,788 the number of people who have died in Ireland from Covid since the pandemic first began.
Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, said vaccination continued to be the key to getting on top of the virus.
He said “Today’s announcement that a Covid-19 vaccine will soon be available to children is welcome news and a significant positive step.
“In the meantime, vaccination remains one of the best ways to protect ourselves from severe illness and death from Covid-19. I would encourage anyone yet to receive a first dose to come forward for vaccination as soon as possible.”
He urged: “Please prioritise your booster vaccine appointment as soon as you are called for it. Do not wait until after Christmas. The benefits of receiving your booster dose far outweigh any potential risks that may arise in the meantime.
“You will begin to receive the benefit of your booster protection within seven days of receiving your third dose. This means that anybody who received their vaccine this week can be confident in the protection the booster will offer them as we move closer to the Christmas period.”
Meanwhile there has been a steep increase in the number of Covid-19 cases detected in the primary school age group, according to the latest Health Protection Surveillance Centre data.
Last week 7,359 cases were recorded in the 5–12-year-old age group. This is an increase of 21% compared to the previous week.
The proportion of this age group testing positive out of the general population has also increased to 21.5% of all cases. Last week it was at 19.6%.