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HSE to unveil revised vaccine plans early next week

HSE CEO Paul Reid said the plan will still focus on moving down through the age cohorts.

A healthcare worker administering the J&J vaccine.
A healthcare worker administering the J&J vaccine.
Image: PA

THE HSE IS currently reworking its Covid vaccination plans following fresh advice from the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC).

The NIAC guidance, which has been accepted by government, included a recommendation that the vaccine should be offered earlier than planned to pregnant women between 14 and 36 weeks gestation.

The committee also advised that both the Johnson and Johnson vaccine and the AstraZeneca jab should be used for those aged 50 and over.

“We’re once again working on a revised plan based on recent recommendations by NIAC and decisions by governemnt,” said HSE CEO Paul Reid this morning.

He said the new plan – version 27 – will be finalised over the weekend and early next week.

“It will be a plan that accommodates the various adjustments that we have to make and continues to increase our administration of vaccines based on available supplies,” he said.

He said the HSE will have to model out the supply of vaccines and get “the best confirmation that we can” from suppliers for May and June. He said the health service is hoping to be able to strengthen the level of predictability and reliability of supply levels for each vaccine.

The HSE will also examine the use of the J&J vaccine for ‘hard-to-reach groups’, referral pathways for pregnant women and when that rollout might begin.

“We’ll continue to design the next phase of the plan based on the government plan on sequencing and prioritisation,” Reid said.

“We will build a plan based on continuing down through the ages based on the fact that they are known risk factors.”

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He said the HSE will aim to ensure that no vaccines are left un-used for any sustained period of time.

Reid also gave an update on vaccination figures so far and plans for next week.

Up to yesterday evening, 28.2% of the adult population have received a first dose and 11.1% have received two doses and are fully vaccinated.

He said the health service is on target this week to deliver 160,000-180,000 doses. This Saturday a GP-led clinic at the Helix vaccination centre in Dublin will administer 4,500 doses, primarily to those aged 70-79 who are due their second dose.

Next week, the target is 220,000-240,000 vaccine doses. Reid said those aged 50-59 will be invited to register “shortly”, but said he could not provide a specific timeframe for this until after the current plans are revised.

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