15 Aug 2022

Covid-19 vaccine approved for 5 to 11-year-old children in Ireland

Covid-19 vaccine approved for 5-11-year-olds in Ireland

Covid-19 vaccine approved for 5-11-year-olds in Ireland

The Covid-19 vaccine has been approved for 5-11-year-olds in Ireland.

The National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) issued the update today with the jab now recommended for that school age cohort.

Around 480,000 children are now eligible for the vaccine and will be offered it in the coming weeks.

Kids will receive a lower dose of the vaccine than adults and a batch is due to land in Ireland in the new two weeks. It will be January before the majority of children will be offered the jab.

Speaking at the weekend. Taoiseach Micheal Martin said: “The vaccines are coming somewhat earlier into the country, on the 15th of December, the first batch of vaccines for children will come in, and the second batch will arrive in January.

“So we should be in a position to commence the vaccination for children vis a vis the rest of the population.

“That’s the key part of the plan on the vaccination side of it.”

The Taoiseach spoke directly to the children of Ireland in his speech when announcing new restrictions last Friday evening.

He said: “A lot has been asked of you in the last year and a half.

“You’ve had to spend less time with your friends, miss out on special occasions and you’ve been unable just to enjoy normality.

“Now we’re asking you to wear masks in school and soon we may be asking you to get vaccinated.”

NIAC have strongly recommended that children aged 5-11 years with an underlying condition; living with a younger child with complex medical needs; living with an immunocompromised adult should receive Comirnaty©, the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer/ BioNTech. These three categories will be prioritised for vaccination at the same time as others with underlying conditions, according to the Minister for Health.

Minister Donnelly said: “Today’s news is another positive step forward in our country’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“As the country continues to experience a high incidence of disease, we have seen a significant increase in confirmed cases of COVID-19 in this age group. While we know that most children will experience a very mild form of this disease if they pick it up, for a small few, they may become severely ill. Extending the possibility of vaccination to this age group offers another layer of protection to our children, and to those around them.

“We are already beginning to see a significant reduction in incidence of COVID-19 infection in the over 75 age group, where people have been taking up the offer of a third dose of a COVID-19 vaccine in high numbers. This is really good news and shows the benefits of receiving a third/booster dose. 

“Do not wait until after Christmas to receive your booster vaccine or come forward for your first dose, the benefits of receiving your booster dose far outweigh any potential risks that may arise in the meantime.

“It is vital that all of us prioritise our booster appointments as soon as we receive them or make the time to attend a walk-in vaccination clinic if that option is available.”

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