People under the age of 35 may shortly be offered the one-shot Janssen Covid-19 vaccine through pharmacies under plans being considered by Government on Thursday evening.
It is also expected that a revised vaccination plan will see hundreds of thousands of extra doses given to younger age groups in the coming weeks than had previously been expected.
On foot of new advice from the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (Niac), people under the age of 40 who are currently being vaccinated can also receive the AstraZeneca and Janssen shots.
There are around 100,000 Janssen vaccinations in storage, with approximately 40,000 also in stock in pharmacies. A further 80,000 doses are due in July. Many of these can now be offered to the next age group to be vaccinated – those under the age of 35.
The portal for registration for this group is expected to open at the end of next week.
Senior Government sources said plans to allow this age group to get their Janssen shot from their local pharmacies are under active consideration in order to speed up the rollout.
The State also expects to receive 35,000 AstraZeneca doses next week and 37,000 the week after. Two large deliveries in recent days could be enough to give the over-60s their second dose, meaning many of the new doses could also be offered to younger groups.
The high-level vaccine taskforce met with Dr Tony Holohan and the HSE on Wednesday to rework the State’s vaccination plan once again.
There have been global reports in recent days that the one-shot Janssen vaccine could potentially need a booster in the coming months as the globe grapples with the Delta variant.
A senior source said that the Government will be open in future to providing an mRNA booster to anyone who needs it in future.