Northern Ireland news

No further Covid-19 deaths and 109 new cases

A nurse holds a swab for the Covid-19 test

There have been 109 new cases of Covid-19 reported in the last 24 hours and no further deaths, according to figures from the Department of Health.

There are 19 confirmed Covid-19 patients in hospital, none of which are in ICU.

It was announced today that the gap between doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines is to be reduced to a maximum of eight weeks, to better protect against the Delta variant.

Until now the interval between doses was up to 12 weeks but this is being shortened to offer recipients more protection against the Delta - or Indian - variant. 

A cluster of Delta cases have been detected in Kilkeel, Co Down, and mobile testing units have been set up in the town with people over the age of five, from identified areas, invited to attend.

The Delta variant, known as B.1.617.2, is thought to be 40 per cent more transmissible than the Kent - or Alpha - variant, which remains the dominant strain in Northern Ireland.

 

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Northern Ireland news