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Covid-19: 12,000 over 85s will be vaccinated in Ireland next week

The HSE has provided an update on the vaccination programme.

Image: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie

THE HEALTH SERVICE Executive (HSE) has said that 12,000 people over the age of 85 will be given the Covid-19 vaccine next week.

The over 70 age group – starting with those over 85 – will start to be vaccinated from Monday, alongside 25,000 frontline healthcare workers and 42,500 people in long-term residential care facilities over the age of 65s.

The rollout to this cohort will begin from Monday. Another 42,000 people are expected to be vaccinated in each of the following two weeks, with some of these doses set to be given to those aged 80-84.

HSE CEO Paul Reid today said the aim is to complete all first doses for those aged over 85 in the next three weeks. 

Next week an initial 84 GP practices – many with several individual doctors – will be involved in the rollout to those aged over 85. The majority of GPs will administer the vaccines in their own practices.

For practices that have fewer than 200 patients who are over the age of 70, vaccines will be administered in a larger hub, such as the Helix in Dublin or Cork Institute of Technology. In some cases GPs will ‘buddy up’ in one practice or in another community location. 

The HSE also said 243,353 Covid-19 vaccine doses have been administered in Ireland up to Monday. A total of 88,453 people have received both doses and are now fully vaccinated. 

A total of 154,900 people have received their first dose and 88,453 people have received their second dose.

Meanwhile, Health Minister Stephen Donnelly told the Dáil this afternoon that the over-70s cohort will be completed, with people receiving their second dose, by “mid-May”.

This is a number of weeks behind what was originally scheduled but is in line with the timeline provided by HEO CEO Paul Reid at the weekend.

The delay is due to the effect of the reallocation of vaccines, with over-70s now being prioritised to receive mRNA vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer.

“As always, these things are dependent on the supplies arriving in, but if we get the supplies that are forecast it would be around mid May where second dose is complete,” he said.

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Donnelly added that this timeline could potentially could be brought forward if there is a change and over-70s receive the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab.

“My view is we have to keep all of that under review and if we find out that the effectiveness changes or is updated based on more and more information, I think we absolutely have to update the delivery plan accordingly,” he said.

Asked about a previous comment that all adults could be vaccinated by September, the Health Minister said this was “highly provisional” but “would still be possible” dependent on supply.

Contains reporting by Rónán Duffy and Stephen McDermott.

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