Registration for Covid vaccines for 12- to 15-year-olds will open next week, Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly has said.
In a tweet on Thursday afternoon, Mr Donnelly said: “The registration for a Covid-19 vaccine for children and young people, age 12-15 will open next week.
“I’m encouraging parents and these young people to seek information from reliable sources such as the HSE website.”
The next phase of the vaccine rollout aims to see many 12-15 year-olds offered a first dose before the start of the next school year.
📢 The registration for a COVID-19 vaccine for children and young people, age 12-15 will open next week.
I'm encouraging parents and these young people to seek information from reliable sources such as the HSE website https://t.co/IIIa5S5lXO#ForUsAll pic.twitter.com/CPLcevJvQ6
— Stephen Donnelly (@DonnellyStephen) August 5, 2021
The chair of the National Immunisation Advisory Committee said that offering vaccinations to teenagers will give them a route back to a normal life.
Professor Karina Butler, in a video posted online on Wednesday by the Department of Health, offered parents advice ahead of the rollout.
“We feel it will be a step towards giving children the wider benefit and normalising their life experience as they have suffered greatly during the pandemic from all those extra curtailments of life,” she said.
Prof Butler added: “We would absolutely encourage those who have underlying medical conditions that put them at higher risk of Covid to avail of the vaccine as soon as it is offered.
“We would also strongly encourage parents of children who are living in households with anyone else who is vulnerable, either a younger child with an underlying health condition or perhaps an older adult who might not have responded as well to the vaccine, for example, if they had an immune-compromised condition, to avail of the vaccine as soon as they can.”
She said that most children do recover well from the virus, but there can be complications.
“We don’t know everything about the long Covid. In general, the data in children is very reassuring,” Prof Butler said.
On Tuesday, the Government announced it had completed a deal to purchase 700,000 Covid-19 vaccines from Romania.
More than 30,000 people were vaccinated at walk-in centres in Ireland over the bank holiday weekend.
About 75 per cent of adults in the Republic are now fully vaccinated while almost 84 per cent have received a first dose.