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AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines will be offered to all age groups: Health Minister

DUBLIN: Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly announced yesterday evening that both the AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines will be made available to everyone, regardless of age. Previously, it was given only to those above 50 years of age.

The decision to administer AstraZeneca and J&J vaccines to younger age groups was made in an effort to combat the spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19, as young people are more likely to mix when further restrictions are lifted and international travel resumes on July 19. Michael Martin had earlier suggested that both vaccines be given to young people in the country.

Meanwhile, Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan said that if younger people don’t want AstraZeneca or Janssen, they will have a choice and will be able to wait until other vaccines become available.

Gap between AstraZeneca doses to be reduced again

The interval between administering both doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine is expected to be reduced again after a recommendation from the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC).

The gap between two doses of AZ jab was initially 12 weeks, but it was later reduced to eight weeks on the advice of the NIAC. This is expected to be shortened again to four weeks. However, the discussions are still ongoing, and no decision has been made yet.

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