Vaccinations could begin as early as next month for children over 12
The HSE School Immunisation Programme could see children 12 and up vaccinated before school resumes in September.
Vaccination of children as young as 12 could be rolled out from next month to help curb the spread of the Delta variant in Ireland before schools resume in September.
The HSE’s Schools Immunisation Programme is expected to be used alongside the existing Covid-19 vaccination infrastructure and will see children in the age group receive a Covid-19 jab as soon as advice allows, The Sunday Independent reported.
The National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) is expected to make a decision soon on offering to vaccine to the over 12 age group as the Government reportedly wants to see the cohort vaccinated before schools return.
The publication also reported that a senior health source said that 12 to 15-year-olds will likely be vaccinated "sooner rather than later" and while it is "not part of the current operational plan, it is true to say we are planning for it".
The European Commission authorised the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in 12- to 15-year-olds at the end of May following the European Medicines Agency's approval of administering the jabs to adolescents.
This vaccine was already approved for people aged 16 and over in the EU, however, Individual EU states are able to decide whether or not they wanted to offer the vaccine to the 12 to 15-year-olds, meaning the decision from NIAC will be a key factor in the possible rollout for the age group.
Also in May, US regulators authorised the vaccine for children in the 12-to-15 age group, and it is now widely available.