The Minister for Health has confirmed that the wait between the first and second AstraZeneca vaccine will be reduced from twelve weeks to eight in Ireland.
Yesterday, the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) gave advice which recommended it was safe and effective to shorten the gap between the two doses.
The change will allow more people to be fully protected sooner, in particular those over 50-years-old.
Minister Stephen Donnelly met with the head of the HSE Paul Reid, and chief of the high-level taskforce, Professor Brian MacCraith, to discuss the shortening of the gap with regards to vaccine supply.
Donnelly said the “reduction in the length of the interval between doses of this vaccine will benefit in excess of 400,000 people who are waiting on a second dose and who will now get the protection of being fully vaccinated earlier”.
All of this is reliant on vaccine supply from AstraZeneca.
Many politicians and health officials have been calling for the shortening of the vaccine interval with AstraZeneca as the Delta variant, first identified in India, continues to spread around the world.
This was particularly important due to the fact that those who received the AstraZeneca vaccine were over 50 and were more vulnerable to Covid-19 infection.