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vaccine rollout

Vaccination for children aged 12 to 15 expected to begin this weekend

The Director of the HSE National Immunisation Office said a strong uptake is expected.

THE DIRECTOR OF the HSE National Immunisation Office has said that the first vaccinations for children aged 12 to 15 are expected to be administered this weekend. 

Dr Lucy Jessop told Morning Ireland that registration through the HSE online portal will open on Thursday and will require the consent of one parent or guardian.

Jessop said that a strong uptake is expected as there is “quite a lot of enthusiasm amongst parents” about vaccinating their children before they return to school. 

However, she stressed the importance for parents and children to read up-to-date information on vaccines before choosing to be vaccinated.

“It’s important that a parent make the right choice for their family,” she added.

She said that children will be vaccinated with mRNA vaccines, either Pfizer or Moderna, and each child will require two doses over three to four weeks.

The vaccine will be available through vaccination centres, GPs and pharmacies.

Jessop said that no additional safety concerns have been reported where these vaccines have been used among 12 to 15-year-olds.

She said that most children in this age cohort recover well from Covid-19, but there have been rare instances of children being admitted to hospital or to intensive care, while some children can develop Long Covid. 

The latest vaccine statistics show that more than 6 million doses have been administered in Ireland, with 77% of the population now fully vaccinated against Covid-19. 

HSE Chief Paul Reid said in a tweet that almost 9,000 people received a vaccine dose at a walk-in centre over the weekend.

“2/3 of these hadn’t previously registered. All age groups were represented and on occasions full families attended,” he said. 

“We’re on the final leg of the vaccination programme now.”

The Department of Health yesterday confirmed 1,837 new cases of Covid-19, with 208 people in hospital, and 31 in intensive care units. 

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