MORE than half of all patients currently in hospital due to Covid-19 have been fully vaccinated, according to figures released by the Health Service Executive (HSE).
At the end of August, 323 people were understood to be hospitalised with the virus in Ireland, and 168 (54%) of them had received both of their jabs.
44% of patients were not fully vaccinated, while the vaccination status of the final 2% was unknown.
There are 54 people currently in intensive care (ICU) with Covid-19, and 26 of those are understood to be fully vaccinated.
More than a quarter of ICU admissions since July were also breakthrough infections of fully vaccinated people.
HSE chief clinical officer Dr Colm Henry said the rise in the number of vaccinated people getting hospitalised "is not a surprise", arguing that it's because such a high proportion of the adult population have now taken both of their jabs (90%).
"Vaccines were never going to be 100% effective against infection; their big contribution is in preventing serious illness," Dr Henry said.
"But for the vaccination programme, hospitals would have been overwhelmed.
"The impact is also clear in terms of reduced translation of numbers of cases into patients who require intensive care," he added.
On Thursday, 1,292 new cases of Covid-19 were identified in Ireland - a fall of 253 on Wednesday's figures.