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AstraZeneca and Janssen vaccines to be made available to all age groups

Earlier this month, the gap between doses of this vaccine was reduced from 12 weeks to eight.

Image: Shutterstock/BaLL LunLa

Updated Jun 28th 2021, 10:12 PM

HEALTH MINISTER STEPHEN Donnelly confirmed this evening that both the AstraZeneca and Janssen vaccines will be made available for all age groups. 

They had previously been made available for those over 50. 

Speaking outside the Dáil, he confirmed that the shots will now made available for everyone, regardless of age.

Earlier today, it emerged that the delay between receiving both doses of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine is expected to be halved after a recommendation from the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC).

Earlier this month, the gap between doses of this vaccine was reduced from 12 weeks to eight on a gradual basis. 

This is set to be reduced again to four weeks, but discussions are still ongoing and a decision has not yet been confirmed.

NIAC previously advised that this vaccine should not be given to people under 50 when other vaccines are available. This reduced to under 40s in May. 

The National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) met today to consider its advice to the government on whether or not to further ease Covid-19 restrictions from next Monday.

Under the current reopening plan, the resumption of indoor dining in pubs and restaurants is set to be allowed from 5 July. However, there are concerns about the spread of the more transmissible Delta coronavirus variant.

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A meeting of party leaders was also expected this evening, with the Cabinet sub-committee on Covid-19 due to meet later tonight. 

Cabinet will reach a decision on the issue tomorrow.

The Taoiseach said last week that the AZ and Johnson & Johnson vaccines should be reconsidered for younger age groups in an effort to fight the spread of the Delta coronavirus variant. 

- With reporting by Christina Finn and Garreth MacNamee

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