Children aged five to 11 now eligible for Covid jab in Ireland

·2-min read
Covid vaccine being administered  (PA Wire)
Covid vaccine being administered (PA Wire)

Parents can now register children aged between five to 11 for a Covid-19 vaccine in the Republic of Ireland, the Health Service Executive (HSE) has announced.

Children with underlying conditions and those who live with a vulnerable person will be prioritised before the rollout is expanded to all children eligible.

Registration can be done online, and parents will receive a text message confirming their appointment.

The HSE has urged the public to consider bringing their children forward for vaccination.

“Clinical trials showed that this vaccine was highly effective at preventing Covid-19 in children,” a statement said.

“Though serious illness from Covid-19 is rare in this age group, they are even less likely to become seriously ill with Covid-19 if they are vaccinated.

“All vaccines are tested before they are approved for use in Ireland by the European Medicines Agency.

“We know from listening to parents that they have questions and concerns about the Covid-19 vaccine.

“Parents should get their information from a trusted source, such as hse.ie or a medical professional when making the decision to vaccinate their child.”

In line with guidance from the National Immunisation Advisory Council (NIAC), children will be offered the Pfizer vaccine but in a smaller dose than that given to adults.

They will need two doses about three weeks apart.

The protection they get has been shown to be similar to the protection the Pfizer vaccine provides for adults, the HSE said.

Parental consent will be required for children to be vaccinated.

It follows the opening of the booster vaccine programme to over-16s, a week earlier than originally planned.

HSE chief clinical officer Dr Colm Henry said he hoped that the vaccines would start being administered to children in the five to 11 age group within the next two weeks.

It comes as a further 16,986 confirmed cases of Covid-19 were recorded in Ireland on Monday.

At present there are 804 Covid patients in hospital, 93 of whom are in intensive care units.

Meanwhile, the Irish Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan, said the government will consider plans to cut the self-isolation period from 10 to five days for those who test positive for Covid-19.

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