Taoiseach Micheál Martin has stated that approximately 450,000 people are to receive their second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine in the next five weeks as the government moves to reduce the interval between the two doses.
Martin stated that the government plans to reduce the interval between the doses from the initial 12 weeks to five weeks.
This reduction will result in approximately 450,000 people receiving their second dose before the end of July.
While responding to suggestions that certain people were opting out of getting their second vaccine dose, the Taoiseach stated, “we are appealing to people that when you get the call to take your second vaccine, take it up because it will give you protection, it will give your family protection and it will give wider society protection.”
Martin added that the vaccine take-up rate to date in Ireland is very impressive and that Ireland was topping an EU league table in terms of vaccine participation.
Martin stated, “We want to maintain that as we move down through the age cohorts and the decision now to reduce the timelines for the second dose of AstraZeneca is positive and people will get the full vaccination much earlier than anticipated.”
The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control has been reporting an increase in vaccination levels beginning to take effect with foreign travel likely to resume much sooner.
It’s expected that by the 19th of June, Ireland will be operating the EU Digital Covid Certificate for travel within the European Union or the European Economic Area.
However, these plans will depend on the health situation in Ireland but the Taoiseach has assured that we are on target to being part of the European framework in regards to the Covid Digital Certificate which provides hope for the badly-hit aviation industry.