Dr Tony Holohan asks NIAC if extra AstraZeneca vaccines can be used on over 18's 1 month ago

Dr Tony Holohan asks NIAC if extra AstraZeneca vaccines can be used on over 18's

Up to 50,000 doses of the vaccine may go unused from August.

Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr Tony Holohan has asked the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) if extra AstraZeneca vaccines can be used on over 18's.

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Holohan has written to NIAC asking if AstraZeneca vaccines, which currently can largely only be given to people over 50, could be administered to younger cohorts, Independent.ie reported on Thursday.

Up to 500,000 AstraZeneca vaccines may lie unused from August in spite of increasing concerns surrounding the Delta Covid-19 variant.

The Health Service Executive (HSE) is due to get 500,000 doses of the vaccine in August.

However, it is supposed to finish using the jab at the end of July when all over 60s, vulnerable groups, and healthcare workers who received a first AstraZeneca vaccine, receive their second dose.

The delivery in August will be the last delivery of AstraZeneca vaccines into the state.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar also said earlier this week that the extra AstraZeneca vaccines could be used on young people to slow the spread of the Delta Covid-19 variant.

Speaking at an Enterprise Ireland results announcement on Wednesday morning, Varadkar added that while he would like to see the vaccines used on younger cohorts, it will be dependant on recommendations from the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC).

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Varadkar said that there could be "hundreds of thousands" of spare AstraZeneca vaccines after all over 60's, vulnerable groups, and health care workers, have received a second dose of the vaccine.

When asked by reporters if the extra vaccines could be given to over-18's to help curb the spread of the Delta variant, he said that it would be a "shame not to use them".

“There are no spare Johnson and Johnson vaccines. But there will, potentially, be hundreds of thousands of spare AstraZeneca ones in a couple of weeks,” he continued.