Leo Varadkar says extra AstraZeneca vaccine could be given to over-18's to help curb Delta variant spread
“There will, potentially, be hundreds of thousands of spare AstraZeneca ones in a couple of weeks."
Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has said that 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 could not happen for “a couple of weeks”.
It will also be dependant on recommendations from the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC).
Varadkar added 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".
Currently, vaccines such as AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson are largely restricted to use in older cohorts due to fears surrounding rare blood clots.
He also said that the Government has yet to receive a revised delivery date for the 600,000 Johnson & Johnson vaccines it was supposed to receive by the end of June.
Only a portion of the delivery has arrived and are currently being administered in pharmacies only to the over 50 age cohort.
“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 said.