The Minister for Health said a proposal about examining whether younger people should have earlier access to a COVID-19 vaccine will not be implemented
Stephen Donnelly asked his department to examine the possibility of vaccinating people aged 18 to 30 before those aged 30 to 50.
It is just over two weeks since the Government made changes to the rollout, removing certain professions from the list to prioritise older people first.
Minister Donnelly said that there is no plan to alter the age-based rollout as it stands.
"NIAC in their original prioritisation identified younger cohorts as cohorts who had a higher prevalence of the disease and what they said was if the data on transmission gets to a point where vaccinations show a very significant decrease in transmission, then this group should be prioritised," he explained.
Here's more on the effectiveness of the vaccines.
This is the fall in Covid cases in Ireland for the vaccinated groups.
Thanks to our vaccination teams working around Ireland today for your work. 🙏
(combination of reduced community transmission and impact of vaccines.) pic.twitter.com/PrKqsR4p8K
— Stephen Donnelly (@DonnellyStephen) April 18, 2021
Certainly it wasn't floated and there is no plan in place, I simply asked the Deputy CMO his view given that it was sin NIAC, given that we are always doing all we can to make the programme as effective as possible
"I can tell you that the Deputy CMO came back [after] I'd said, 'Is the transmission data at that point', and he said no, it's not.
"It was one of many questions we regularly ask about the programme."
The Minister added that with regard to the current vaccine rollout programme, "nothing is being thrown out the window" and there is "no plan" or "no proposal" to prioritise people under 30 for the vaccine over older age cohorts.
"All I was doing was checking in with the Deputy CMO to see where we are with the transmission data, he said it isn't there, and that's it," he said.
He stated that his department, NIAC and NPHET are "constantly probing" all aspects related to the vaccine programme around rollout, sequencing, centres and public health measures.