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Covid-19 vaccine registration for children aged 12 to 15 to begin next Thursday

NIAC has recommended that people in this age group should be offered an mRNA vaccine.

REGISTRATION FOR A Covid-19 vaccine through the HSE online portal will open to those aged 12 to 15 from next Thursday 12 August, the Health Minister has confirmed.

Stephen Donnelly encouraged parents and young people to seek information from reliable sources such as the HSE website in deciding on vaccination for this cohort. 

The HSE has said the portal will open to this group from 12 August and parents will be able to register their children for a vaccine through the hub.

The National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) has recommended that children in this age group be offered an mRNA vaccine.

To date, two mRNA vaccines have been approved by the European Medicines Agency for use in this group – Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna.

During clinical trials, the estimate for efficacy of both vaccines was reported as 100% in this age cohort.

Minister Donnelly said recently that the rollout for this cohort is expected to involve a combination of vaccine centres and GPs.

“The biggest priority for me has been 12- to 15-year-olds with underlying conditions,” Donnelly said today.

He said it is likely that there will be a role for GPs in helping to inform parents as they have a relationship with them and their children. 

“Parents will have some reasonable questions they’ll want to discuss,” he said.

Donnelly added that 12- to 15-year-olds would be accompanied by an adult when receiving their vaccine.

The Minister also defended the government’s decision to offer vaccines to this age demographic, despite their comparatively low risk of serious illness, citing both the benefit of protecting adolescents from the impact of Long Covid as well as the benefits for the wider community. 

“As well as those with underlying conditions, children who live with or are in contact with people with underlying conditions are likely to be prioritised.”

The Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan said in a statement last month: “I encourage parents and guardians of those aged 12-15 years of age to register them for a vaccination as soon as the opportunity arises.”

The CEO of the HSE said the six millionth dose of a Covid-19 vaccine in Ireland will be administered today.

Paul Reid described the figure as a “great milestone overall”.

“Huge thanks are due to the Irish public & everyone involved in delivering this vaccination programme,” he said on Twitter

Chair of the High-Level Task Force on Covid vaccines, professor Brian MacCraith said another milestone will be reached today with three-quarters of adults fully vaccinated against Covid-19. 

The vaccine rollout hit the five-million dose milestone less than one month ago in mid-July. 

Last week, Ireland overtook the UK in terms of the number of adults fully vaccinated against Covid-19. 

Paul Reid said the HSE was “blown away” by attendance at the first walk-in vaccination centres offered last weekend. 

Those aged 16 or over can attend the walk-in service to receive a Pfizer vaccine dose. The walk-in option is offered at many vaccination centres on certain days for a number of hours.

Anyone over the age of 16 who hasn’t already can registered for a vaccine through the online portal or over the phone can do so now.

Infographic by Emma Taggart

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