Explainer: Where does each age group stand in terms of being vaccinated?

Vaccination registration expected to open for those aged 18-34 later this week

Eileen Kelly, principal clinical lead of the HSE, at   the National Show Centre in Swords, Co Dublin. Photograph:  Tom Honan

Eileen Kelly, principal clinical lead of the HSE, at the National Show Centre in Swords, Co Dublin. Photograph: Tom Honan

 

The Republic is due to pass the mark of five million Covid-19 vaccine doses administered this week, with registration for people aged 18 to 34 (for AstraZeneca) expected to open in the coming days.

Just shy of 70 per cent of the adult population have received their first vaccine dose, with 56 per cent fully vaccinated.

Supplies of Pfizer, the workhorse of the Health Service Executive vaccination programme, are projected to taper off slightly in the coming weeks, while deliveries of Moderna are to increase.

So where does each age group stand in terms of being vaccinated?

Those in their 60s

The spread of the Delta variant has led to concern for people in their 60s awaiting their second dose of AstraZeneca, as those with only a single dose are more vulnerable to the new strain.

The AstraZeneca vaccine, predominately used to inoculate this group, has a significantly longer period between doses, compared with other vaccines.

Everyone in their 60s awaiting their second dose will be offered a vaccination appointment by this Sunday, July 18th.

Another vulnerable cohort awaiting second doses are those aged 16 to 59 with medical conditions, putting them at high risk from the virus.

Latest Covid-19 data hub figures show there are about 50,000 people in this group waiting for a second dose, roughly a fifth of the cohort.

There are still small numbers of people in their 50s and 60s registering for vaccines each week, who were hesitant to sign up initially, and these are put to the top of the queue due to their age.

People in their 40s have received their first doses, with second doses being administered currently.

Those in their 30s

Last week people aged between 34 and 30 were allowed to register for mass vaccination centre appointments with the HSE.

The HSE has said it aims to schedule vaccination appointments within three to four weeks of people registering. This means people aged 30-34 may expect to start getting their first shots around the end of July or early August.

However, this rough timeline – as with everything in the vaccination plan – depends on supply.

Those in the 35 to 39 age bracket registered in June, and have been receiving their first doses in recent weeks. It is expected all first doses will be completed for this group either this week, or next week.

People in their 20s

The HSE vaccine registration portal is expected to open on Friday for people aged between 18 and 34, who want to opt-in to receive an AstraZeneca vaccine.*

Those who opt for AstraZeneca may receive their first dose quite shortly afterwards, likely within this month. People under 30 who choose to wait for an mRNA vaccine, such as Pfizer or Moderna, will likely not receive an appointment until August.

Initially the HSE had planned to register this group in two cohorts, 25- to 29-year-olds, and then later 20- to 24-year-olds, where they could opt for an AstraZeneca, and register for an mRNA vaccine at the same time.

The HSE has said now it will “signpost” a later date when people in the 18-29 age group should register on the portal for an mRNA vaccine appointment.

The older group of 30- to 34-year-olds will be able to update their existing registration later this week, to signal if they wish to opt-in to receive an AstraZeneca vaccine.

Pharmacies

People under 35 were given the option of signing up to receive a one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine in pharmacies at the start of last week.

Many pharmacies reported being immediately inundated with calls from people seeking to put their names down for vaccines, leading to lengthy waiting lists for very limited supplies.

There are about 200,000 doses of the vaccine in play across 850 pharmacies up to the end of July, meaning many people will likely receive appointments at mass vaccination centres ahead of a call from the pharmacist.

Some 285,000 further Johnson & Johnson shots are promised for August, but previously deliveries have fallen well short of expected numbers, so health officials are treating the projection with caution.

*This article was amended on 13th July 2021, to take account of new information from the HSE