Q&A: How is the Covid vaccine rollout going and when will I get my vaccine?

Everything you need to know about where we are with the vaccine programme
Q&A: How is the Covid vaccine rollout going and when will I get my vaccine?

The HSE said that, dependent on supplies, the rollout should reach younger people in their 20s by August.

IS THE COVID-19 VACCINE PROGRAMME ON TARGET?

While the Government may miss the June target to vaccinate 80% of the adult population, the Covid-19 vaccination programme is progressing well.

Over the weekend, HSE boss Paul Reid estimated that 70% of adults would receive at least one vaccine dose by the end of June.

While there were signals that the current pace of the rollout may not be sustained over the summer months, on Monday, the HSE said that, dependent on supplies, the rollout should reach younger people in their 20s by August.

WHERE ARE WE WITH THE COVID-19 VACCINE ROLLOUT?

Despite a rocky start, mainly due to supply issues, the programme is now administering more than 300,000 doses a week, with a new daily record of 58,000 jabs given on one single day set last week.

With growing concerns around the threat posed by the Delta variant, there is a push to get as many people vaccinated as possible, as quickly as possible.

The latest figures show more than 3.5m doses have now been given, with 35% of the adult population now fully vaccinated and 65% given one vaccine dose.

Vaccines are being administered through GP practices, mass vaccination clinics, and community pharmacies around the country, based on age or qualifying under another vaccine allocation group.

WHAT AGE GROUP IS THE VACCINE PROGRAMME FOCUSED ON CURRENTLY?

Over the weekend, the HSE’s vaccine portal opened up to those aged under 40, with 47,000 39-year-olds registering for their vaccine on Sunday alone.

Anyone under the age of 50 will receive the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines.

On Monday, HSE national director Damien McCallion said people in their 30s would be given their first doses in June and July and their second dose in July and August.

WHEN WILL PEOPLE IN THEIR 20S GET THE VACCINE?

Those in their 20s may not receive their first Covid-19 jab until August, Mr McCallion signalled on Monday, adding the HSE hoped second doses could be given to this age group in September.

Mr McCallion said the rollout will be contingent on supplies but that a boost of more than 300,000 Pfizer doses in the coming weeks would help to keep the rollout on track.

Meanwhile, a higher proportion of younger people have signalled they will not get the Covid-19 jab. The latest Ipsos MRBI poll on how willing people are to get the vaccine found  hesitancy rates were higher among 18-24 year-olds (11%) and 25-34 year-olds (9%) compared to 6% of the general population.

THERE IS A DELAY IN GETTING MY SECOND PFIZER DOSE, SHOULD I BE CONCERNED?

Pfizer recommends you get the second dose 21 days after the first one, as does the European Medicines Agency.

Ireland's National Immunisation Advisory Committee (Niac) recommends an interval between doses of between 21 and 28 days. And the HSE itself says you should get your second dose within 28 days.

However, due to a variety of reasons, it can take longer.

Depending on which helpline operator you talk to, the delay can vary, but it is usually about five days.

The HSE says that while it strives to deliver all second doses of Covid-19 vaccines in the timeframes recommended by Niac, it is not always possible to do this “due to operational reasons”.

And it has told the Irish Examiner: “Appointments may be automatically scheduled up to five days after the recommended date.” However, it stresses that second doses given within the 33-day window are “clinically safe and effective”.

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