50% of adult population expected to have first dose of Covid vaccine by next week

The Taoiseach says half of the adult population will have their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine by next week.

It comes as 99 patients are in hospital with the virus - the lowest figure reported by the Department of Health since September 24th.

It has fallen by 46 per cent in the past month, and by 22 per cent in the space of 48 hours.

Dr Eoghan De Barra, a consultant in infectious diseases in Beaumont Hospital, says the drop in hospitalisations is welcome: