People aged between 40 and 50 will be asked to register for their Covid-19 vaccine in the coming week as the rollout gathers pace.
HSE Chief Paul Reid confirmed that they would release details for this age group in the coming days as to when they can sign-up.
Mr Reid said on RTÉ Radio: There is always a brief period before we start moving into the next age group.
Forty to fifty will be next [age group] and we will be communicating out on that later next week, for people to start registering on that portal.
“1.5m first doses have been given so far, which is 40% of the adult population, with 500,000 people fully covered – 11% of our population.
Somewhere between 260-280,000 vaccines will be administered next week.”
People queuing outside the Helix Vaccination centre (DCU) in north Dublin. (Image: Gareth Chaney/Collins Photos Dublin)
The Department of Health is awaiting advice from the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) about the use of the AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson jabs in various age cohorts, in particular those under the age of 50.
Astra Zeneca and the Johnson & Johnson jabs are not being given to those under the age of 50 due to concerns over a rare blood clotting issue.
Mr Donnelly said he expects to receive NIAC’s updated recommendation in the coming days.
The Health Minister said: “As soon as we have that advice from NIAC, I will discuss it with the chief medical officer, with the department, I will bring a recommendation to Government.
“And once we have that we will be able to be more accurate in terms of when each of the age cohorts can expect to start getting their first doses.”
Tommy McGrath, 61, from Ballyfermot, receives his AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccination from Public Health Nurse Deirdre Murphy at the mass vaccination centre in the Helix, DCU, Dublin. (Image: Brian Lawless/PA Wire)
Groups currently eligible for vaccination
According to the HSE, the cohorts currently being vaccinated against Covid-19 are:
- people aged 65 years and older who live in long-term care facilities (group 1)
- frontline healthcare workers (group 2)
- people aged 70 and older (group 3)
- people aged 16 to 69 who are at very high risk (group 4)
- people aged 65 to 69, including those at high risk (group 5 and 6)
- people aged 16 to 64 who are at high risk (group 7)
Most people in their 50s have also now applied to receive a vaccination on the HSE’s online portal.
People over the age of 51 can register to receive their jabs from today, Wednesday, May 12.
While people aged 50 will be able to register from tomorrow, Thursday, May 13.
Who is next?
Those in their 40s are the next cohort set to be called up to receive a jab.
But the outlook beyond this is less certain. At the end of last month, the Department of Health predicted that those aged 35-59 would be offered the vaccine in June.
While people aged between 25 to 34 were expected to be inoculated in July.
However there was no further clarity over when people aged 16 to 24 will be vaccinated.
And health officials have insisted that the situation remains fluid and exact predictions can’t be made.
A HSE spokesman added: “Because supplies of vaccines are limited at the moment, it is not possible to give an exact time for everyone. We understand that people are looking forward to getting their vaccine and will keep this information updated.”