Video: Friday's three-minute lunchtime news update

Video: Friday's three-minute lunchtime news update

The HSE's online vaccine portal opened for registrations on Thursday, with 30,000 69-year-olds signing up for an appointment to receive the jab.

From today, those aged 68 can register for a Covid-19 vaccine, with head of the HSE Paul Reid adding people aged 60-64 will be able to register for vaccines "well before the end of April".

Speaking at the HSE's weekly briefing, chief clinical officer Dr Colm Henry added people in their 60s have “much more to fear” from Covid-19 than they do from the AstraZeneca vaccine, amid ongoing concerns regarding rare blood clots.

Meanwhile, former president of Ireland Mary Robinson has urged European leaders and US president Joe Biden to support a waiver of intellectual property rules for Covid-19 vaccines to allow for manufacturing and distribution to be increased around the world.

In a letter signed by former world leaders and Nobel Laureates in the fields of medicine and science, the People's Vaccine Alliance called for nations to support the TRIPS waiver, claiming that at the current pace of production, most poor nations will be left waiting until at least 2024 to achieve mass immunisation against the virus.

In world news, preparations for the funeral of Britain's Prince Philip are continuing ahead of the ceremony on Saturday.

Following reports of tension between Philip's grandsons, William and Harry, after the latter's interview with Oprah and his wife, Meghan, the brothers will not walk side by side in the funeral procession.

The pair will be separated by their cousin Peter Phillips when they walk in a line behind their grandfather’s coffin, before William, second in line to the British throne, steps ahead of his brother when the coffin is taken into St George’s Chapel.

In sport, Ireland are preparing for their match-up against France in the Six Nations Pool B decider.

Adam Griggs has named an unchanged starting XV to face the French, following their 45-0 win over Wales last weekend.

The winner of Saturday's game in Energia Park will go on to meet England on April 24th, in what will be the final of the revamped tournament.

Finally, in entertainment, singer Harry Styles has once again got social media talking after images emerged of him dressed as the Little Mermaid.

The former One Direction star, known for his androgynous fashion style, was photographed in a red wig and shimmering green tail, lounging on a chair while smoking a cigarette and drinking champagne.

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