Micheál Martin urges young people to get vaccinated as 87% of cases today were in people aged under 45 1 month ago

Micheál Martin urges young people to get vaccinated as 87% of cases today were in people aged under 45

"Shortly we will be opening for 16 to 18-year-olds."

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has urged young people to get vaccinated as soon as they can as 87% of cases today were in people aged under 45.

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Speaking to reporters in Kinsale on Monday, Martin called on younger cohorts who have been offered a Covid-19 vaccine to come forward for their appointment as the number of cases in the country continues to soar.

Cases have been rising rapidly in recent weeks due to the highly-transmissable Delta variant, with 87% of cases today in people under 45.

The country's Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Dr Ronan Glynn, saidon Monday: “87% of cases today are in those aged less than 45 years.

“If you are awaiting your vaccine or are awaiting your second dose, continue to protect yourself by following public health advice.”

Amid the rise in cases, Martin appealed to anyone over 18 to "please take up the opportunity of getting vaccinated".

“I would appeal to the age cohorts who can register on the portal – please take up the opportunity of getting vaccinated,” he said.

“We would appeal to those age cohorts to take the opportunity of getting your vaccine.

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“That will help us defeat this.”

The Taoiseach added that registration for the Covid-19 vaccine will also be opening "shortly" for those aged over 16.

“We are registering for the 18 to 25-year-olds and shortly we will be opening for 16 to 18-year-olds," he added.

Everyone over the age of 18 in Ireland can now register for an mRNA vaccine.

Minister for Further and Higher Education Simon Harris has also said that he expects the vaccine portal for 16 to 17-year-olds will open by August.

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Discussing the reopening of universities at the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Education, Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science on Thursday, Harris said that he would like to see the age cohort be called for vaccines in "early August".

Harris said he would like to see the portal open "as quickly as possible", adding that there are concerns due to a "particular spike" in the age group.