The National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) has advised the gap between the first and second dose of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine can be reduced from twelve weeks to eight.
Ireland is currently inoculating people with their second AstraZeneca vaccine twelve weeks after they have received their first.
However, the fresh advice says it is safe to distribute them just eight weeks apart.
Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr. Tony Holohan wrote to the HSE following NIACs assesment.
Concern has been raised in recent weeks following the emergence of the Delta Covid-19 variant, first detected in India, and the fact that those aged over 50 have to wait three months until they are fully protected.
NIAC followed the UKs decision, which reduced the interval between the AstraZeneca doses.
There are currently 115 cases of the Delta variant in Ireland to date, a rise from 97 last Friday.
The head of the Labour Party Alan Kelly said, this is a “welcome development from NIAC but we need clarity on whether the shorter 8 week gap between doses will now be implemented”.
Kelly raised the issue of the gap between the AstraZeneca doses and its relation with the Delta variant at Leaders Questions twice last week.
No decision from the HSE has been made as of yet in regards to the shortening of the vaccination interval.