People are being urged to get their COVID-19 booster vaccine before Christmas as cases rise.
At a meeting of health officials on Thursday, it was reported that 550 cases of the virus were recorded in Ireland in the last week.
This marks a 20% rise in cases in the past fortnight.
As of 8.00am on Thursday, there were 489 confirmed cases in hospital.
This compares to just 346 confirmed cases in hospital two weeks ago.
The HSE is urging everyone - especially healthcare workers, people aged over 50 and anyone over 12 with an underlying health condition, or who are immunocompromised - to check they are up to date with their COVID-19 vaccine boosters.
Those who are not sure when they are due a booster can contact the HSE on 1800-700-700.
The health service said it can take up to two weeks to build up immunity after a booster.
Eileen Whelan is HSE National Lead with the Test, Trace and Vaccination Programme.
"The vaccines were the key step in allowing us to to get back and to socialise, and to actually get our economy and get our country back to normal," she said.
"So what I'm saying this year to everybody is: the best gift you can give to people this Christmas is to ensure that you've got your booster vaccination".
"As we prepare for the high levels of social interaction over Christmas, we should take action now to protect family, friends and ourselves.
"It is particularly important that all staff working in hospitals, in the community and in patients' homes are up to date with their vaccines and in doing so help protect patients and our health services ahead of what we know will be a busy time for all our services.
"If you are not up to date, get your booster now.
"Immunity from COVID-19 vaccination and previous COVID-19 infection decreases over time, so getting your next dose when it's due gives you the best protection from serious illness, and increases immunity against infection from COVID-19," she added.