Vaccination Update-Pharmacies expanded to include younger age groups

Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly TD, announced an update to the COVID-19 Vaccination Programme. This update to the programme comes following the updated advice from the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) regarding the possible use of adenoviral vector vaccine for those aged under 50 years of age.

NIAC has restated that it is still preferable that those aged 18-49 be given mRNA vaccines. However, in light of the increasing prevalence of the Delta variant and the risks associated with it, the NIAC have noted that there is an urgency to complete vaccination of as many people as possible and, as such, have recommended that those aged 18-49 years can opt for an adenoviral vector vaccine (AstraZeneca and Janssen) in order to gain earlier protection. Younger age-groups who do not wish to receive an adenoviral vaccine will be offered an mRNA vaccination in due course.

People in Ireland aged 18 – 34 years who wish to seek accelerated vaccination in this way can seek access to a Janssen COVID-19 vaccine in their local participating pharmacy from Monday 5 July, subject to supplies. As a response to rising concerns with regard to the Delta variant, this recommendation is being implemented in partnership between the HSE and the Irish Pharmacy Union, with the availability of the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine for those aged 18-34 in over 700 pharmacies nationwide.

Furthermore, those aged 18-34 opting for an accelerated vaccination will also be able to register from Monday 12 July for an appointment during July for a Janssen or AstraZeneca vaccine through Vaccination Centres.

Registration for an mRNA vaccine for those aged 30-34 will begin on Friday 9 July, starting with those aged 34 on that day, 33 year-olds on Saturday 10 July, and so on.

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