Tuesday, 29 June 2021

Ceisteanna (546)

Bernard Durkan


546. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Health if children (details supplied) can have access to early an vaccination; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27427/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The COVID-19 Vaccine Allocation Strategy sets out a provisional list of groups for vaccination. The Strategy was developed by the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) and my Department, endorsed by the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET), and approved by Government on 8 December 2020.On the 23rd of February, I announced an update to Ireland’s COVID-19 Vaccine Allocation Strategy. In comprising the initial Vaccine Allocation Strategy, the NIAC listed several conditions associated with increased risk of severe disease and death. In the intervening period, national and international evidence has become available which has enabled a more detailed analysis of underlying conditions that may increase the risk of developing severe disease or death. The NIAC has now been able to more comprehensively identify those medical conditions and to distinguish between those which place a person at very high or high risk of severe disease if they contract the virus. Medical conditions and the magnitude of the risk they pose will continue to be monitored and periodically reviewed.On the 30th of March, the Government approved a further update to the COVID-19 Vaccination Allocation Strategy. Based on clinical, scientific and ethical frameworks produced by the National Immunisation Advisory Committee and my Department of Health, following the vaccination of those most at risk, future groups will be vaccinated by age, in cohorts of 10 years (i.e., 64-55; 54-45, etc.).The move to an age-based model better supports the programme objectives by:

- protecting those at highest risk of severe disease first, which benefits everyone most;

- facilitating planning and execution of the programme across the entire country;

- improving transparency and fairness.

Further details on the updated allocation strategy are available here:www.gov.ie/en/press-release/93f8f-minister-donnelly-announces-update-to-irelands-vaccination-prioritisation-list/Vaccine registration for those aged 35 to 39 has opened.The rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination programme is the responsibility of the HSE. You can find more information on the rollout of the vaccine and the progress of vaccinations here:www2.hse.ie/screening-and-vaccinations/covid-19-vaccine/rollout/It is important to emphasise that vaccination is only one part of our response to the prevention of COVID-19 infection. People who are vaccinated need to continue with all the public health measures that have been proven to reduce the risk of infection, i.e., limiting our social contacts, physical distancing, wearing a mask, hand hygiene, cough etiquette and avoiding non-essential travel until a sufficiently large proportion of the population are immune.