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Government revises its vaccination strategy; vaccines will be administered purely on basis of age

The government has changed its distribution strategy to make vaccination more effective. Under the new plan, vaccines will be administered purely on the basis of age, rather than age and profession.

The strategy of implementing the shift in vaccination priority groups is to better achieve the vaccination goals of preventing serious illness, hospitalisation and death. The government hopes that a simple and age-appropriate approach will reduce the administrative burden. Developments in Ireland are in line with the changes in the UK.

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly said in a statement that “The age-based approach will make the roll-out more efficient at higher volumes of vaccinations, and better meets the objective of protecting those at highest risk first.”

“The vast majority of those who have received vaccines are our most at risk loved ones who have suffered the highest burden of serious illness and death, as well as the social isolation the necessary public health measures have created,” he said.

Minister Donnelly stated that vaccination of those aged 16 to 69 who are at very high risk of contracting COVID-19 due to serious medical conditions is currently underway.

A review by the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) found that no occupational category was found to be at greater risk, independent of age or other co-morbidities.

This change also means that individual groups such as gardaí, teachers and family carers would no longer have to wait in line for vaccines.

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