Many over 60s still 'waiting anxiously' for second jab, says Cork elderly advocate

Many over 60s still 'waiting anxiously' for second jab, says Cork elderly advocate

A woman receives the AstraZeneca vaccine at the vaccination centre at the Cork City Hall. Picture Dan Linehan

A well-known advocate of the elderly in Cork has raised concerns about the delay experienced by some people over the age of 60 in receiving a second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.

Paddy O’Brien said there are many people in their 60s “waiting anxiously” for their second jab after he received phone calls from those concerned about the delay.

“Many people I spoke to were so happy when they got their first jab and they thought this was the beginning of going back to their own life again but that has all changed and people are back again in their own homes waiting for this very important vaccine.

“The over 60s are upset and annoyed that they cannot get back to the normal way of living and to the life they had prior to March 2020 without the second jab,” he said.

He said that restrictions are still affecting many in their 60s who, without the second jab, cannot return to daycare centres when they reopen on July 5, cannot go to mass, visit their families and cannot meet their friends.

Mr O’Brien said that it is “most upsetting” for those in their 60s to hear of people in their 50s receiving the second vaccine before them while they “continue to experience the same loneliness and sadness as experienced prior to the first injection”.

“This long delay with second vaccination must and should be top priority,” he said.

Meanwhile, speaking to Virgin Media news this week, HSE chief executive Paul Reid, said that around 450,000 people who are awaiting a second dose of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine will receive it within the next five weeks.

He confirmed that the wait time for a second AstraZeneca dose is being gradually reduced from 12 weeks to eight following advice from the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC).

“We started the process this week of giving people the second dose of AstraZeneca, that we will work through over the next five weeks,” he said.

Mr Reid said it is planned that the second doses of AstraZeneca will be completed by July 19.

“So, 450,000 people over the course of the next five weeks will receive their second dose of AstraZeneca,” he said.

Mr Reid said that with the presence of the Delta variant, it is “really important that people do come forward for their second dose vaccine”.

“You don’t have your fullest protection until you have your second dose vaccine,” he said.

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