Jack Quann
Jack Quann

14.52 1 Jul 2021


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Vaccine registration for those aged 30 to 34 should be open "towards the end of next week".

That is according to the Health Minister Stephen Donnelly, who says AstraZeneca second doses for those aged 60 to 69 will be completed in the coming weeks.

While he says 351,000 vaccines were administered here in the last week.

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The HSE has also confirmed 18 to 49-year-olds will have a choice of vaccine.

The official advice is those age groups should be offered an mRNA option - but can go for a dose of AstraZeneca or Johnson & Johnson if they want an earlier vaccination.

Ireland is set to cross four million vaccine doses this week, Professor Brian MacCraith told The Hard Shoulder on Tuesday.

The chair of the High-Level Task Force on COVID‐19 Vaccination said: "Four million and 45 thousand as of Monday night - by this evening we will have hit, or very close to, 2.5 million dose ones - that's 66%.

"And over 1.6 million dose twos - so over 43% of the adult population is now fully vaccinated."

It comes as the Government continues to battle criticism over its decision to delay indoor hospitality.

It has emerged NPHET predictions of a huge COVID wave if indoor dining was allowed to go ahead did not account for new vaccine recommendations - allowing younger people to access AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson.

The models led to Cabinet deciding to delay the re-opening.

Minister Donnelly earlier told Pat Kenny: "NIAC (the National Immunisation Advisory Committee) provided that advice to the CMO on Monday.

"[The Chair of the NPHET Modelling Group] Professor Philip Nolan was having to do the modelling over the weekend.

"We asked NPHET to present to us several days early because the hospitality sector had very reasonably said, please don't wait until Thursday; it is not enough time so if there is bad news - and there was a growing fear because of Delta that there could be bad news - they said please give us this information as early in the week as possible. So, that is what we did."

He said he was surprised to hear Cabinet sources claiming they thought the advice had been accounted for.

While his party colleague, Carlow-Kilkenny TD John McGuinness, has criticised him for 'poor' management.

He told The Hard Shoulder on Wednesday: "I thought it was a very poorly communicated decision, and I have witnessed the various ministers that sit around [the] Cabinet table now trying to push the blame towards Tony Holohan and others running for cover.

"When in fact, they could have and should have discussed this more openly with Tony Holohan and with their colleagues in Cabinet."

Deputy McGuinness explained: "I find it hard to believe that this letter from Tony Holohan was the first that they had learned of the difficulties that were coming up in terms of the Delta variant.

"They should have known it and they should have been planning far in advance of the announcement.

"And when the announcement was made, they should have been a lot more informative."

On Minister Donnelly, he said: "When the Minister for Health came out as part of this announcement and said that we now have to have a conversation with the sector, quite frankly I was just shocked at that statement.

"Having a conversation now with the sector after you've just closed them down again is just poor management, it's bad management and it shouldn't happen."

Main image: Dr Kelly Hanlon wearing a face mask at the vaccination centre in The Helix, Dublin in March 2021. Picture by: Sam Boal / RollingNews.ie

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30 To 34 AstraZeneca Covid Vaccine Hse Professor Brian MacCraith Second Dose Stephen Donnelly Vaccine Registration

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