Every single Irish man and woman could be vaccinated by end of August, says HSE chief

Every single Irish man and woman could be vaccinated by end of August, says HSE chief

IRELAND'S coronavirus vaccination rollout could be completed at the end of next month, according the Health Service Executive (HSE).

Following a recent revamp of the programme, it's likely that every adult in the country will have been offered both doses of the vaccine before September rolls around.

An extra one million doses of the vaccine have recently been sourced from Romania and HSE CEO Paul Reid said yesterday that over 200,000 one-shot Janssen vaccines will be available in July, with more expected in August.

"Every 27,500 people or so is another percentage of the population completed, so that really gives us a potential of up to about 5% extra being completed in July, so it's very significant for us in terms of full completion of vaccines," Mr Reid said.

"If we fully utilise all of those 200,000 of Janssen, that can bring us closer to 68% by the end of July.

"It could bring us right back to the end of August, early September," for all people to be fully vaccinated, he added.

Vaccination of the 18-34 age group is due to begin today as the nation's vaccine rollout begins to pick up pace. The age group now has a choice to opt-in for a Johnson & Johnson or AstraZeneca vaccine, which will be administered in over 700 pharmacies across the country.

Last week, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) officially approved the Pfizer vaccine for teenagers aged 12-15, and it's understood that approval for the Moderna vaccine for the same age group will follow shortly.

It's understood though that the EMA has no plans to recommend the vaccine for children, despite the recent clinical approval.

In response to the approval however, Ireland's HSE began developing plans for the possibility of vaccinating teenagers and children, though these plans aren't expected to carried out unless the EMA decides to recommend doing so.