400,000 people waiting on second AstraZeneca not permitted to travel abroad under "vaccine bonus"
The HSE doesn't specify the same restriction for people who have had just one dose of other vaccines.
More than 400,000 people who are waiting for a second dose of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine in Ireland have been told the "vaccine bonus" does not permit them to travel abroad.
The current interval between the first and second AstraZeneca dose is between eight to 12 weeks.
Currently, people who have received a vaccine can avail of the 'vaccine bonus' from 28 days after their first dose but this does not allow for international travel if your first dose was an AstraZeneca vaccine.
People in their 60s and vulnerable groups have been waiting on a second jab, which could come between eight to 12 weeks from their first vaccine dose.
The Health Service Executive (HSE) has not specified the same restrictions on travel for people who received one dose of other vaccine brands.
It comes as Trinity Professor Luke O’Neill said on Monday that it is “perverse” that some vulnerable people are still not fully vaccinated due to the longer wait between AstraZeneca jab doses.
O’Neill has previously called for a "mix and match" approach so that patients originally given AstraZeneca could be offered a different brand to reduce waiting times.
The Professor has now said that the Delta variant has increased the importance of fully vaccinating vulnerable groups even sooner.
On The Pat Kenny Show on Monday morning, he described the current wait between AstraZeneca doses as "ridiculous”.
"It is perverse now that we have people who are vulnerable who aren’t fully vaccinated and there are people who are less vulnerable who are. That is a real disconnect, I think," he said.