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*Photograph: Joe Buckley

Approval of NPHET’s prioritisation of COVID-19 vaccines represents “an important step” while Co Clare has recorded less than five new cases of the virus.

Clare has the sixth lowest 14 day incidence rate per 100k of the population for COVID-19 in the country. The figure of 32.8 is well below the national equivalent of 80.2. Less than five new cases of the virus are known in the county, Department of Health officials have stated.

There have been 39 cases in Clare over the past fortnight.

Nationally, there are 215 new cases. 74 are in Dublin, 22 in Donegal, 15 in Kilkenny, 14 in Louth, 11 in Limerick and the remaining 79 cases are spread across 18 other counties.

An additional death has been notified to the Health Protection Surveillance Centre while three previously confirmed deaths have been de-notified.

Speaking on Tuesday, the Chief Medical Officer acknowledged the Government’s approval of NPHET advice on the prioritisation of COVID-19 vaccines as “an important step in the development of the vaccine strategy”.

“While each of us awaits our opportunity to be vaccinated, it is important that we continue to protect each other in the meantime, particularly over Christmas and in the months ahead. Continue to follow public health advice; avoid crowded places, physically distance, wear face coverings, wash hands regularly and practice cough/sneeze etiquette,” Dr Tony Holohan stated.

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