Stephen Donnelly confirms children will not need Covid-19 vaccine to attend school 1 month ago

Stephen Donnelly confirms children will not need Covid-19 vaccine to attend school

The Health Minister said it was "absolutely not on the cards" and "won't be" in the future.

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly has confirmed that children will not need to be vaccinated against Covid-19 to attend school.

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The Minister said that children needing to be vaccinated against the virus to go to school was "absolutely not on the cards" and "won't be on the cards" in the future either.

Speaking to RTÉ Radio One's Morning Ireland on Wednesday, Donnelly said that a "huge amount of consideration" has gone into the decision to vaccinate children aged 12 to 15, adding that the Government is now just "planning the logistics" of the rollout in the age cohort.

He said that most of the vaccinations will occur through vaccine centres and parents will likely be required to accompany children aged 12 to 15 to their appointment.

Donnelly added that 12 to 15-year-olds with underlying health conditions will be prioritised for Covid-19 vaccines, adding that parental permission will be required before the vaccine is administered.

"There was a particular emphasis in the NIAC (National Immunisation Advisory Committee) advice on vaccinating children who have underlying conditions and vaccinating children who live with or are in social or family circles with adults who have underlying conditions," Donnelly said.

"I think it's likely there will be a role for GPs, particularly where parents have a child with an underlying condition, they have a relationship with a GP, they'd like to talk to their GP, parents will have some very reasonable questions they want to discuss, and they might want the GP to administer the vaccine as well."

He said "the consent and the permission" will have to come from parents, who he is hopeful will be enthusiastic at the prospect of their children being able to receive the jab.

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"Ultimately, the consent and the permission comes from the parents, they will always do what's right for their child and a lot of parents now, I think, are really welcoming of this news and they're looking forward to getting their children vaccinated,” he said.