Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said Ireland will make a decision whether to vaccinate children aged 5-11 with the Covid-19 vaccine within the next month.
Martin said antigen testing and the potential of vaccinating young children will likely play a crucial role in flattening the virus surge before Christmas.
He urged people to stick with public health advice, such as social distancing, mask-wearing and hand-washing.
The Taoiseach said: “I spoke to the chief medical officer just an hour ago. There is no return to widespread contact tracing for children because we do not want children out of school for ten days unnecessarily.”
“But the European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC) advice which has arrived in recent days is such that there may be selective situations where it might pilot the use of antigen in selected situations.”
Martin said it is “probably a month away before the authorities are in a position to make an assessment in respect of vaccines for children.”
He said the European Medicines Agency (EMA) will consider vaccinating children aged 5-11, then NIAC will review the data before a decision is made.
IMAGE – “Dáil Éireann – Election of Taoiseach” by House of the Oireachtas (CCBY2.0)