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New testing regime on the cards for people who can't get the vaccine on medical grounds

People who have not got their second dose cannot use the Covid Pass to access a number of services.

Image: Sam Boal

TÁNAISTE LEO VARADKAR has said the government is working on a possible new testing programme for people who cannot get the vaccine on medical grounds.

Speaking this afternoon, he said there is “a small group of people who can’t get the vaccine for a particular reason” such as people that may have had an adverse reaction to their first dose of the vaccine or have been advised not to get their second dose.

These people cannot not avail of a number of services as they do not have access to a Covid Pass as they have not received full vaccination.

“Now that the Covid Pass has been extended, we need to come up with a mechanism particularly for them because that is a unique and unusual case,” he said.

He said there are only a small number caught in that scenario, many of whom who would actually like to have a vaccine.

“We’re working on a solution around around testing for them,” he confirmed. 

Chief Medical Officer Tony Holohan said they are giving consideration to a “means or mechanism” for people who are not in the position to get the second dose of the vaccine.

He said there are some people who despite a willingness, are not being advised to get their vaccine or a second dose.

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He said there are specific reasons why individuals might be advised not to take the vaccine or get their second dose, stating there could be particular medical circumstances or an individual condition.

When asked what advice he would give to those people, Holohan said they need to consult their own individual doctors and pay heed to the advices, as well as their own individual behaviours.

In general terms, if a person has had one dose of an mRNA vaccine they aren’t as protected as the fully vaccinated, and those people need to assess the activities they are undertaking so as to limit their risk of picking up the disease.

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