People aged 39 can register for vaccination from today

Tánaiste says young people will be allowed to travel from July 19th

All first doses of 40-49 age group is expected to be completed in the next couple of weeks. Photograph: Kiran Ridley/Getty

All first doses of 40-49 age group is expected to be completed in the next couple of weeks. Photograph: Kiran Ridley/Getty

 

People aged 39 will be able to register today for vaccination, with those aged 38 from tomorrow, 37 from Tuesday, 36 from Wednesday, and those aged 35 from Thursday, June 24th.

A total of 3,434,053 doses have been given with more than 60 per cent of the population having received at least one dose and 31 per cent fully vaccinated.

The HSE’s chief clinical officer Dr Colm Henry said on RTÉ’s Brendan O’Connor show that all first doses of 40-49 age group is expected to be completed in the next couple of weeks, with their second dose of mRNA vaccine a month later.

He expects all the 30-39 group to receive their first jab by the end of July or the start of August, with the 20-29 group getting their first jab after that. Dr Henry said he was “confident based on current supplies” that the cohort can be done by September.

It comes as another 393 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in the State, the Department of Health reported on Saturday afternoon.

There are 14 patients in ICU related to coronavirus with 48 in hospital because of the virus.

‘Unfair’

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said on Saturday it would be “unfair” to ask young people to wait until they were fully vaccinated before travelling abroad.

Earlier this week, chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan said he would advise people not to travel overseas unless they were fully vaccinated.

Speaking on Saturday, Mr Varadkar said he understood Dr Holohan’s position, but added he did not think that was fair on young people.

“He’s coming at it from a public health point of view and scientific point of view and I totally understand that, I totally respect that,” he said.

“We think it would be very unfair, if you haven’t had the opportunity to become fully vaccinated, like younger people, that they would not be allowed to re-enter the country if they left,” Mr Varadkar said.

“That’s why we’ve agreed this other regime that allows them re-enter the country if they have a negative test … so that’s the plan in terms of Government policy,” he said.

The EU digital Covid certificate scheme, coming into effect from July 19th, allows for free travel within the European Union. Under the system an individual must either be vaccinated, have a negative PCR test prior to travel, or have recovered from Covid-19 in the previous nine months.

‘Remarkably constant’

Dr Henry says that the latest vaccintion plans are supply dependent but that the Pfizer vaccine supply has been “remarkably constant” throughout the vaccine rollout.

He said there is “no doubt” that cases of the Delta variant of Covid-19 will rise in Ireland.

Dr Henry said that full vaccination brings solid protection against serious illness from the variant, and while its spread here has so far been contained, the numbers are rising in Northern Ireland.

The number of Delta variant cases detected in the State has risen to 188, from 126 last week.

The Delta variant, which is significantly more transmissible than the Alpha (UK) variant that is dominant here, now accounts for 5 per cent of all cases sequenced by the National Virus Reference Laboratory. This compares to about 25 per cent in Northern Ireland and up to 90 per cent in England, where the variant has quickly become the dominant strain.

The Department of Health removed Canada on Friday night from the mandatory hotel quarantine list with immediate effect. Additionally, Mongolia will be added to the list from 4am on Tuesday, June 22nd.

Later on Saturday, the Department issued a statement in the names the Chief Medical Officers in Northern Ireland and the Republic, Michael McBride and Dr Tony Holohan, who had held a meeting during the day.

“Following the meeting,” the statement read, “the Chief Medical Officers (CMO) reminded people who are intending to travel across the Border over the coming days to be alert to the epidemiological situation in the relevant local areas and to ensure that they avoid activities which could place them or their families at risk of Covid-19 infection.

“In particular, the CMO’s highlighted their growing concern with regard to the Delta variant and advised that everyone should remain careful and continue to follow the public health advice.

“Now is a time for continued caution in order to maintain the progress made to date in each jurisdiction, until more people are fully vaccinated. People who are not yet protected through vaccination should remain extra vigilant, avoid crowds or large events, meet up with others outdoors where possible and come forward for testing if they develop any symptoms of Covid-19.”