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Covid-19 Pandemic

Dáil Éireann Debate, Wednesday - 16 June 2021

Wednesday, 16 June 2021

Questions (147)

Louise O'Reilly


147. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Education if consideration has been given to vaccinating teachers who will be undertaking the July provision in summer 2021. [32440/21]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

The new vaccination roll out schedule, which was recommended to government by the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) and endorsed by the NPHET, is that the remainder of the population after Group 9 will be completed on an age basis from those aged 64 years and younger, and that this decision will replace the previous groupings in the original plan.

The evidence is clear that hospitalisation and death risk increases with age, while a review conducted by NIAC did not see any occupational group emerge as being at higher risk of morbidity or mortality. The risk of someone aged 55-64 with COVID-19 is 70 times higher in terms of death, over 20 times higher in terms of ICU admission and 5 times higher in terms of hospitalisation when compared to the risk facing someone aged 20-34 with COVID-19. I appreciate this change in schedule has been a cause of upset and disappointment for many in the education sector, and also in other sectors.

The move to an age-based model supports the vaccination programme objectives by protecting those at highest risk of serious illness, hospitalisation and death first regardless of occupation. The Department remains committed to regular engagement with the education partners and will continue to engage with unions and management bodies on all issues concerning Covid-19.