The vaccine portal for those aged 18-34 who want to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine is set to open on Friday. People aged 18-29 can also opt-in to receive an mRNA vaccine such as Pfizer or Moderna.
The initial appointments for each vaccine will be allocated to the oldest age in each cohort, which means that individuals aged 34 will receive the AstraZeneca vaccine first while those aged 29 will receive an mRNA vaccine first.
Those aged 18-29 will be able to register for an mRNA vaccine at a later date according to the HSE. The pace at which the AstraZeneca vaccine will be rolled out to this age cohort will depend on how many people opt-in for it.
The HSE originally planned to register those in their 20s into two cohorts, 25-29 years old and 20-24 years old, which allowed them to opt-in for the AstraZeneca vaccine and register for an mRNA vaccine. However, new plans will open the AstraZeneca vaccine registration for everyone aged 18-34.
Anyone who chose the AstraZeneca vaccine will most likely be able to receive their first dose this month while those who chose an mRNA vaccine will likely have to wait until August.
A HSE spokeswoman stated, “In line with Niac (National Immunisation Advisory Committee) advice, mRNA vaccines remain the preferred vaccines for younger age groups. In line with advice we are, however, offering Janssen and AstraZeneca on an opt-in basis,”.
She added that this would “clearly signpost” a later date for when 18-29-year-olds should register on the portal for an mRNA vaccine. Pharmacies will also continue to administer the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine for those under the age of 35.