People aged in their 40s will not receive Covid vaccines from AstraZeneca or Janssen, HSE chief executive Paul Reid has indicated.
Those aged 40 to 49 could be offered the vaccines if alternative jabs from Pfizer or Moderna are unavailable, under a recent revision of advice from the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (Niac).
The Irish Times reports that on Sunday, Mr Reid said that the HSE “don’t see that as a factor now for ourselves” due to progress made in the overall vaccine rollout.
Most AstraZeneca supplies will be used for second doses while there is only a “limited supply” of Janssen, he told RTÉ Radio’s This Week programme.
New advice from Niac had said the AstraZeneca and Janssen vaccines could be administered to those aged 40 to 49 under strict conditions, after reports of rare blood clots initially saw their use limited to those over 50.
The HSE had been tasked with “operationalising” this recommendation in the context of limited or uncertain future supplies of the two vaccines, and stable deliveries of the other two authorised vaccines of Pfizer and Moderna.
Mr Reid said the HSE had already begun calling forward people in their 40s for vaccination.
The health chief said progress on vaccinations is “really strong” with well over 2.4 million people having received at least one dose.
Almost 300,000 people will be vaccinated in the coming week, he added.
However, the health chief urged caution amid a rise in Covid-19 cases in the mid-west of the country despite progress on vaccination.
It was an “early warning for everybody that this is very much still with us”, he said.
The number of swabs taken on Saturday was up 23 per cent on the same day last week, he added.
A further 438 cases of Covid-19 were confirmed by the Department of Health on Sunday.