HSE says vaccine registration should open for children aged 12 to 15 in next two weeks
Parental consent will be needed before younger teenagers get vaccinated.
The Health Service Executive (HSE) has said that the vaccine portal should open for children aged between 12 to 15 within the next two weeks.
The latest figures show 72.4% of adults in Ireland have now been fully vaccinated after registration for the jab opened for all those aged over 16 last week, just one week after it opened for everyone aged over 18.
The rollout is now set to be extended to younger teenagers in the age 12 to 15 cohort after the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) approved the jab for use in younger teens recently.
Damien McCallion, the HSE's National Lead for the Covid-19 vaccination programme, told Newstalk's On The Record programme on Sunday that the HSE's IT systems will need to be upgraded before the rollout extends to the age group - however, they are hopeful to be able to announce a date this week.
“Although we had a sense this was coming and we had started working on that, the systems were based on an adult-based [rollout]," he said.
“We would expect to open it within the next two weeks - we’d hope to announce the date this week coming. It will be a model where we’ll use the vaccine centres, but also GPs and pharmacies as well.”
The HSE National Lead also confirmed that parental consent will be needed before younger teenagers get vaccinated.
Meanwhile, Mr McCallion said there was a huge uptake at yesterday's walk-in vaccination centres, which the HSE are hopeful will extend across today and tomorrow also.
McCallion said: “Overall, we’re very happy with how the first two days have gone
HSE Chief Clinical Officer Colm Henry also said that there was "ongoing heavy demand" for the centres over the weekend.
Taking to Twitter on Sunday he said: "Younger generation now shoring up the vaccine floodwall.
"Ongoing heavy demand for walk-in centres; over 10,000 attend yesterday with 20 centres providing facility today and tomorrow; check hse.ie for local details and opening times for walk-ins."
There are 38 centres ran by the HSE that will be in operation throughout the country over the bank holiday weekend, with 20 open today and tomorrow.
People attending the centres will receive a first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and will then receive a text for an appointment for their second dose.
You can find the full details of the walk-in centres here.