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COVID-19 vaccine rollout will slow down for people in their 30s – HSE chief

DUBLIN: HSE chief executive Paul Reid has said the COVID-19 vaccine rollout in Ireland will slow down once vaccination of people in their 30s begins. He shared the concern that the shortage of Pfizer and Moderna vaccine to be given to this category would affect the overall vaccination pace.

Mr. Reid said the country’s vaccination programme is progressing well and that the HSE expects to administer 320,000 doses this week and around 300,000 next week. However, with the shift to Pfizer and Modena, the vaccination rate is expected to fall to 200,000 next month, he said.

The HSE CEO said that people between the ages of 35 and 39 can register for vaccination from this Sunday, but that it is unlikely to be completed soon.

“The Pfizer supply drops down, but we no longer have usage for the AstraZeneca or Janssen [owned by Johnson & Johnson] vaccines, as we’re moving down below the age in which NIAC have recommended their use. So that combination means it’s not the same supply line that we’ve had for this level,” Mr. Reid said.

There are about 710,000 people between the ages of 30 and 39. He estimates that the vaccination for this age group will take three to four weeks to complete.

One-third of the population is fully vaccinated

Paul Reid said Ireland has the highest vaccination uptake rates in the European Union. One-third (31%) of the Irish population is now fully vaccinated and around 61% have received their first dose of the vaccine, Mr. Reid said.

The HSE has so far administered more than 3.4 million jabs in the country. This includes 2.3 million first doses and 1.2 million second doses.

Further figures show that 100% of people over the age of 80, 97% of people over the age of 70, 92% of people between the ages of 60 and 70, and 87% of people between the ages of 50 and 59 are vaccinated.

Vaccine registration for 35-39 people starts from Sunday

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly has confirmed that the vaccine registration portal for people between the ages of 35 and 39 will be open from Sunday.

Pharmacies across the country have also joined the vaccination programme, where Johnson & Johnson vaccine jabs will be administered.

The Minister for Health said that anyone over the age of 50 who have not yet registered for the vaccine can schedule an appointment with a nearby pharmacy to receive their dose.

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