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People in 20s to get first Covid jabs in late August or early September

It is likely that this cohort will not be fully vaccinated until October.

Image: RollingNews.ie

THE HSE IS not expecting the vaccination programme to move into the 20-29 cohort until late August, as it moves to a reliance on just two brands of vaccine. 

Speaking to RTÉ’s Brendan O’Connor this morning, Dr Colm Henry, HSE Chief Clinical Officer (COO), said it is expected that the majority of people over 40 who are registered for a vaccine will get their first doses over the next two weeks.

He said there are around 700,000 people aged 30-39 in Ireland and the HSE is expecting a strong uptake in that age group. From tomorrow, those aged 35-39 will be able to register.

Most people in this group will receive their first dose in July or at the latest early August, Dr Henry said.

“We’re getting additional supplies of Pfizer this week and next week and in contrast with our experience with the AstraZeneca vaccine, our supplies of Pfizer have remained remarkably constant and we’ve had very little disruption of Pfizer supplies to day,” he said.

“We know the EU has negotiated extra supplies and we’re committed to getting those out as quickly as they come into the country.”

From July, the vaccination programme will move to a supply line of just two vaccines – the Pfizer and Moderna jabs – as these are the only two vaccines approved for use here in younger people. 

He said if expected supplies continue to arrive people in their 20s can expect to receive their first jabs in late August or early September.

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Dr Henry said he can understand the frustration of younger people, hearing the Chief Medical Officer this week that those who are fully vaccinated “can safely resume normal life”, while the under 30s face a whole summer of waiting for their jabs.

“We want to get the vaccination programme out as quickly as possible to people, but we chose quite rightly, in line with other countries, to choose older people and those who are most vulnerable first,” he said.

“We have short memories in this pandemic, it wasn’t a question of older people getting back to normal life, it was getting back to saving their lives and avoiding serious illness in that cohort, that’s why we prioritised those people in the vaccination programme.”

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