Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

07.19 3 Jun 2021


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People who've had a first dose of AstraZeneca could get their second dose sooner than originally planned, following new advice from the National Immunisation Advisory Committee.

It has written to the Chief Medical Officer advising that the gap between doses can be reduced from 12 to 8 weeks.

If implemented, the proposed changes would see tens of thousands of people fully vaccinated ahead of the previous schedule.

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NIAC's recommendation is now with the HSE, who'll consider how and if the proposal would work.

Labour leader, Alan Kelly, said making the change would help reduce the risk posed by new variants.

He said: "So many people have been on to me from the 60-69 age group, whose doses are 12 or 14 weeks apart.

"Really they're a group that could be quite vulnerable but have the longest period to wait to be fully vaccinated: many of us will be vaccinated long before them."

The AstraZeneca vaccine is currently only recommended for use in people aged over 50.

Younger age groups are expected to get the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, with most of the remaining AstraZeneca supplies already reserved for second doses.

The current 12-week wait for a second AstraZeneca dose compares to just a four-week gap for Pfizer and Moderna.

Meanwhile, anyone aged 43 can register for a vaccine from today as the rollout continues.

Main image: Nurse Joan Love with AstraZeneca vaccine at the HSE Vaccination Centre in the Aviva Stadium. Photo: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

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