AstraZeneca vaccine registration for 18-34 year olds set to open on Friday

Those who opt for AstraZeneca vaccine may start to receive first doses this month

Adults  aged under 34 will be invited to opt-in this week to receive an AstraZeneca  vaccine. Photograph: PA

Adults aged under 34 will be invited to opt-in this week to receive an AstraZeneca vaccine. Photograph: PA

 

The Health Service Executive (HSE) vaccine registration portal is expected to open on Friday for people aged between 18 and 34, who want to receive an AstraZeneca vaccine.

Appointments for the AstraZeneca vaccine will be allocated to the oldest people in this age cohort first, and then to others based on age.

The registration process to opt in for AstraZeneca comes ahead of people aged 18-29 being able to register to receive an mRNA vaccine.

The HSE has said people in this age group who want to register for those vaccines, such as Pfizer or Moderna, will be able to do so at a later date.

Registration for people aged between 34 and 30 for an mRNA vaccine started last week.

The pace of the AstraZeneca vaccine rollout through the 18-34 age group will depend on the numbers who opt for this vaccine.

Initially, the HSE had planned to register those in their 20s in two cohorts – 25-29 year olds and then 20-24 year olds – where they could opt in for an AstraZeneca vaccine, and register for an mRNA vaccine.

It was anticipated the 25-29 year olds would be allowed register for vaccine appointments at the end of this week.

However, the plan now is to open registration for an AstraZeneca vaccine for all in the 18-34 age group, HSE sources said.

Those who choose to accept an AstraZeneca vaccine will likely begin to receive their first doses this month.

Those who opt for an mRNA vaccine are likely to have to wait until August for an appointment.

A spokeswoman for the HSE confirmed that from later this week “online registration will be updated to allow younger age groups to opt in to receive an AstraZeneca vaccine from a vaccination centre if they choose to.”

“In line with Niac [National Immunisation Advisory Committee/] advice, mRNA vaccines remain the preferred vaccines for younger age groups. In line with advice we are, however, offering Janssen and AstraZeneca on an opt-in basis,” she said.

The HSE spokeswoman said it would “clearly signpost” a later date when people in the 18-29 age groups should register on the portal for an mRNA vaccine appointment.

Pharmacies are also continuing to administer the one-shot Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine to people aged under 35.

Many pharmacies reported large numbers of people seeking to put their name down for vaccines in the last week, leading to lengthy waiting lists for limited supplies.

“To arrange a vaccine, people aged 18-34 can contact a participating pharmacy to book an appointment. We are asking that people book in advance so pharmacies will be able to plan accordingly and reduce the risk of any wastage,” the HSE spokeswoman said.