The State is to examine if the period between the two required doses of Covid-19 vaccinations could be extended in order to accelerate the rollout, as is being done in the United Kingdom.
It comes amid ongoing concern over the rapid rise in the level of Covid-19 infections across the State and fears over the knock-on impact on the health service.
Professor Brian MacCraith, chair of the State’s Covid-19 taskforce, said the issue of increasing the gap between vaccine doses had been discussed by the group in recent days.
“On foot of our discussions, a formal request has been issued from [chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan] to request [the National Immunisation Advisory Committee, NIAC] explore the issue and provide some guidance on the matter.
“Given that we want to be as ambitious and effective as possible, and given the backdrop of rapidly rising numbers and our prioritised focus on the vulnerable in nursing homes and frontline healthcare workers, we have to consider all options,” he said.