First walk-in vaccination centres in Ireland to open this weekend
The centres are expected to "facilitate further vaccination among 16, 17, 18 year-olds onwards in particular".
The first walk-in vaccination centres in Ireland are expected to be set up this weekend ahead of the likely opening of the vaccine portal for 12-15 year olds in the near future.
Full details on the centres are expected to be revealed by the HSE on Tuesday afternoon, while a decision is also set to be announced on vaccinating 12-15-year-olds after it was discussed by Cabinet today.
Speaking on the way in to the Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said they want to "encourage high participation rates" in the age cohorts that have yet to be vaccinated.
"I think it has been a very effective programme so far - but we want to encourage high participation rates now among the remaining age cohorts," he said.
"To that extent, the HSE will be adding walk-in vaccination centres over the Bank Holiday weekend to facilitate further vaccination among 16, 17, 18 year-olds onwards in particular."
The vaccine portal opened up to everyone aged over 16 on Tuesday, just a week after the registration opened for everyone aged over 18.
Nearly 70% of adults are now fully vaccinated from Covid-19 in Ireland while roughly 84% have now received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine.
News of the vaccination centres comes as The Health Service Executive (HSE) issued a warning, saying that young people are "intentionally" contracting Covid-19 in order to obtain vaccine passports.
HSE Public Health Midlands said in a statement on Tuesday that the practice is "extremely risky and dangerous" after a HSE Doctor said that parents were concerned that their children had been going to gatherings with the "intention of getting Covid".
“It also has come to our attention that recently a number of teenagers and young adults may have acquired Covid-19 intentionally at social events," Douglas Hamilton, Specialist in Public Health Medicine at the Department of Public Health in the Midlands, said on Tuesday.
"The objective may have been to acquire Covid-19 in order to quickly qualify for a Covid Digital Certificate.
The EU Digital Covid Certificate was rolled out in Ireland for use in international travel on 19 July and for indoor dining on 26 July for fully vaccinated people, those who have recently recovered from the virus, and accompanying under 18s.