Under-30s could be vaccinated before older age groups under new proposal

By | April 17, 2021

A new proposal from the Department of Health that is currently under review, could see under-30s receive their first Covid-19 vaccination ahead of other age cohorts.

This proposal comes as latest figures from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre show that 74% of new confirmed cases of Covid-19, come from people under the age of 45.

It is understood that the department is considering this proposal over fears that the spread of Covid-19 is most prevalent in the under-30s age group and could spread the disease quicker than among the 30-50 age groups.

“Issues like this are constantly being reviewed to ensure the vaccination programme is as effective as possible, just like with dose intervals, distribution channels and so forth, a spokesperson for the department told independent.ie today.

“Any change would require a government decision and no such memo is currently being prepared. Specifically regarding sequencing by age, NIAC stated on 29th March that evidence on transmission is limited.

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“Reduced transmission would be the primary rationale for moving to those in their late teens and early twenties.”

However, this proposal has been met with criticism from those in government, who have argued that any decisions that would change the vaccine rollout programme in Ireland “must be advice by science.”

Other proposals due to be considered by the government include revising the period between administering vaccine doses, to speed up the number of people receiving the first jab of the Covid-19 vaccine.

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The government is due to consider increasing the time between jabs for the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines from four weeks to eight weeks, as an attempt to facilitate the delivery of additional vaccines to Ireland and administer as many first doses of the vaccine as possible during that period.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar told the newspaper: “There are actually pros and cons to this, though. We would be giving more people some protection more quickly, but we would have fewer people fully protected.”

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