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gift of the jab

Vaccine registration is open today for people aged 30-34 - here's what you need to know

Registration for this cohort had initially been planned for Friday, but the date was moved forward.

THE HSE’S COVID-19 vaccine registration portal is now open for people aged 30-34.

This is a registration for mRNA vaccines: Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna. Registration for this cohort had initially been planned for Friday, but the date was moved up to today.

So far, 16.9% of the adult population have received one dose and over 50% are fully vaccinated.

Last Friday, the government announced that young people who have not yet been vaccinated can register for the Janssen or AstraZeneca vaccine if they wanted, which could mean some young people are vaccinated faster than if they waited for the age-based rollout of the mRNA vaccines.

The National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) has advised that mRNA vaccines should be used for those aged under 40, but the Government is giving the public the option to book in for a vector-based vaccine (AstraZeneca or Janssen) at a local vaccination centre if they wish.

Since Monday, anyone aged 18-34 who has not received a Covid-19 vaccine yet could get a one-shot Janssen vaccine at a pharmacy. You can find a HSE list of the pharmacies taking part in the Covid-19 vaccine rollout here.

The HSE is asking people aged 34 to register today, followed by those aged 33 tomorrow, and so on. However, anyone aged 30-34 can technically register from today.

To register for a vaccination through the online portal, you need:

People in this age cohort can register online through the HSE website or by phone by calling 1800 851 500. For anyone who is deaf or hard of hearing, there is a HSE text line they can contact at 086 1800 661.

The fact that registration has been opened up for another cohort does not mean vaccination of earlier cohorts will stop, or be de-prioritised. At each stage of the programme, the HSE has invited the next group to register as it moved through previous groups. 

Before this cohort, appointments were generally arranged about a week after registration. It’s unclear how the announcement that younger age groups can register for an AstraZeneca or Janssen vaccine may affect the age-based rollout of mRNA vaccines.

As with all other age groups previously invited to register online, this invitation is for everyone in Ireland aged 30-34, including those within this age range who may be in another vaccine allocation group and are not yet vaccinated.

Once a person has registered, the HSE will send appointment details by text message, three to seven days before their vaccination is due to take place. People in this group will be vaccinated at one of the HSE vaccination centres around the country.

Pregnancy and the vaccine

Under the National Immunisation Advisory Committee’s recommendations, a pregnant woman who is between 14 and 36 completed weeks pregnant can be referred for a vaccine following a risk/benefit discussion with her obstetric care-giver.

When asked by The Journal about pregnant women in this age cohort, the HSE said those who are eligible to register should have the discussion with their obstetric care-giver before registering.

The Covid-19 vaccines were not tested on pregnant women during clinical trials. But more than 100,000 pregnant women in the US have now had a Covid-19 vaccine. No safety concerns have been raised for these women or their babies.

“The information we have so far shows that the Covid-19 vaccines do not have any negative effect on babies in the womb. Recent reports have shown that pregnant women pass on antibodies from the vaccine. This may help to protect their babies after birth,” the HSE website says.

“The Covid-19 vaccines are not live vaccines, so they cannot infect either mother or baby with Covid-19. The vaccines are rapidly broken down in the body and cannot become part of your or your baby’s DNA.”

The first dose should be at or after 14 weeks of pregnancy. The second dose should be before the end of 36 weeks of pregnancy.

- With reporting from Michelle Hennessy.

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