The rollout of the vaccine programme means the need for using antigen testing later this summer will diminish, Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe has said.
Speaking in Dublin after the Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan set out his reservations around antigen testing, Mr Donohoe said the government “has to be guided by the CMO”.
“The government always has to be guided by the view of the Chief Medical Officer and the public health experts in relation to antigen testing. There is a variety of opinion in relation to it, that is evident from the public debate on it at the moment. but we will always take very seriously the view of the CMO and his team in relation to it,” Mr Donohoe said.
“I do think as we move through the year, we will see a broader use of antigen testing,” he added.
It's already been used for example, in a number of workplaces across the country, by the government in those workplaces, the minister said.
But he did say the vaccine rollout and the scaling up of that will reduce the need for antigen testing, which he said is unlikely to replace PCR testing.
“I think it is point it's increasingly likely that antigen testing won't fully take the place of PCR testing. If we are successful, in the scale of vaccination that we want to deliver by this summer, then hopefully the need for broader antigen testing will begin to diminish,” he said.