Stephen Donnelly says people in their 40s could be vaccinated "in parallel" to those in their 50s
The Department of Health is currently "running the numbers".
Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly has said that people in their 40s could be vaccinated "in parallel" to those in their 50s.
The Minister said that analysis is being conducted on whether people in their 40s could get the jab before those in the age 50-59 cohort who will have to wait for the arrival of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
"What we are thinking through is, in several weeks' time, is there an option to begin vaccinating, for example, the 40-49 cohort in parallel (to the 50 to 59-year-olds)?" Donnelly said on RTÉ's Claire Byrne Show.
He added that the Department of Health is currently "running the numbers" and while there are currently not enough Johnson & Johnson vaccines available for that age group, there will be "plenty of vaccines" in the coming weeks.
Speaking to Newstalk earlier in the week, he said that if vaccines continue to arrive on schedule, four in every five adults will be offered their first dose by June.
“It just so happens that, based on the supplies as they are coming in, if they continue to come in as agreed with the pharmaceutical companies, then four in every five adults who wants a vaccine can be offered a vaccine by the end of June, but there is no magic about 31 June (sic)," he said.
“On 1 July we will still be vaccinating, we will be doing tens of thousands of people.
“The good news... in terms of Jansen and AstraZeneca is that we are still on track and it means that we can keep getting the vaccines out at the speed they come into the country.”