The Minister for Health has firmly ruled out changing the vaccine rollout to inoculate younger people first, just a day after he publicly floated the idea.
It was yesterday reported that Stephen Donnelly was considering a move to vaccinate people between the ages of 18 and 30 once all those over 60 are vaccinated.
Mr Donnelly admitted that he had put forward the idea of prioritising younger people and had asked for a review, but this had been dismissed by deputy chief medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn.
Asked directly if this was still the plan, Mr Donnelly said: "The short answer is no."
"NIAC (National Immunisation Advisory Committee) in their original prioritisation identified younger cohorts as cohorts who had a higher prevalence of the disease and what they said was if the data on transmission gets to a point where vaccinations show a very significant decrease in transmission, then this group should be prioritised," he said.
However, after seeking advice on the matter, the Minister was told that there is currently no data to support a prioritisation of younger age groups.
“There is no plan to do this, no proposal to do this. I was just checking in with the Deputy Chief Medical Officer (CMO) to see where the data was,” he said.
“All I was doing was checking in with the Deputy CMO to see if the data was there and he said it wasn’t,” Minister Donnelly said.
Mr Donnelly told Newstalk's On the Record programme that he is constantly probing any potential changes that could improve the vaccination rollout.