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jab done Health Minister Stephen Donnelly confirms under 30s will not be vaccinated before older groups

Concerns about covid variant first discovered in India and now causing an outbreak in Southeast England

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Health Minister Stephen Donnelly confirmed people under 30 will not receive the jab before older groups

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly confirmed people under 30 will not receive the jab before older groups

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly confirmed people under 30 will not receive the jab before older groups

People under the age of 30 will not be vaccinated before people aged 30-50, Health Minister Stephen Donnelly has clarified.

It was reported yesterday that the Minister instructed Department of Health officials to examine whether vaccinating the more mobile younger cohort was worth exploring to keep overall levels of the disease down once the country reopens.

The Minister confirmed today that he had asked Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn whether any data supported this notion.

“The short answer is no, it certainly wasn’t floated and there is no plan in place.

“There is no plan to do this, no proposal to do this. I was just checking in with the Deputy CMO to see where the data was,” Minister Donnelly told Newstalk Radio today.

Minister Donnelly said his Department is “constantly probing” into the data behind the vaccination rollout and the profile of the disease and he was just putting a question to the Deputy CMO on the matter.

“All I was doing was checking in with the Deputy CMO to see if the data was there [to support vaccinating younger people first] and he said it wasn’t,” Minister Donnelly said.

Mr Donnelly said that case numbers currently have exceeded “best case scenario” predictions made one month ago.

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Minister Donnelly said there were no plans or no proposals to vaccinate under-30s as a priority.

Minister Donnelly said there were no plans or no proposals to vaccinate under-30s as a priority.

Minister Donnelly said there were no plans or no proposals to vaccinate under-30s as a priority.

The R number has remained below one despite battling the UK variant with the Minister saying predictions of 1,000 cases per day were made at the start of the month.

Minister Donnelly said that the EU Commission “were more than welcome to their opinion” that Ireland’s mandatory hotel quarantine is too heavy handed, but added Government’s job “was to keep people in this country safe”.

“We’ve identified the importation of variants as a significant risk to the country so we’ve moved first and furthest in Europe...the important thing is that it’s working,” Minister Donnelly said.

When asked if travel from Britain may be impeded due to an ‘Indian variant’ the health minister didn’t “want to pre-empt what may happen with Britain” but added health officials are constantly looking at variants and the Indian one was one being looked at.

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The variant first discovered in India is causing an outbreak in Southeast England and is “very concerning”, Mr Donnelly said.

Mr Donnelly confirmed that he and Dr Glynn have spoken about this variant this morning, which has a double mutation, which is feared may hinder the efficacy of vaccines.

The Minister said he was “absolutely confident” in the advice he was receiving on granting exemptions from hotel quarantine to people fully vaccinated with vaccines approved in Ireland.

“It’s an exemption from hotel quarantine but there is still a home quarantine to do, so there is still a very robust measure in place”.

Mr Donnelly said the possibility of extending the time interval between first and second doses is being taken “very seriously” and said he expects a recommendation on the matter this week.

This would allow more people to receive their first dose than initially forecast by the end of June.

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