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Pfizer BioNtech

Cabinet Considering Revised Rollout Plan As Scheme To Receive Boost

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The Government is considering the HSE’s reccomendation to stick with Ireland’s age based vaccine scheme. It has emerged that the vaccine rollout is to receive a double boost.

BioNtech manufacturers have announced that it was working with Pfizer on a new version of the Covid vaccine. This jab can be stored in fridges at just two to eight degrees celsius for up to 6 months.

BioNtech also revealed that it is nearing request for approval of a new longer lasting jab. This jab does not need to be stored at minus 80 degrees. This is an attempt to speed up the vaccine rollout in Europe.

The EU have also told the cabinet that they have agreed a deal with Pfizer-BioNtech for millions more doses. This would mean Ireland would get 4.9 million doses of the jab next year and the same again in 2023.

Oldest To Youngest

This comes after the original vaccine rollout plan received a setback, when NIAC advised that only Pfizer and Moderna could be administered to people under the age of 50.

NIAC also reccomended that all four vaccines, Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca along with J&J can be used for people over the aged of 50.

The HSE has insisted that the Government should continue to administer the jabs in descending order from oldest to youngest. This proposal was back by Professor Cliona Ni Cheallaigh, a specialist for infectious disease at St James’ Hospital.

“One of the most important things is the speed at which it happens”, she said. “It is much easier to do things on an age basis. So I think the HSE’s approach is sensible”.

Donnelly to discuss Jab Rollout with NIAC “In the coming days”

This comes after Health Minister Stephen Donnelly called for a review into the State’s vaccine rollout plan after advice on the use of the four jabs changed.

These changes could potentially see changes to the plan, like J&J and AstraZeneca being used for people under 50.

Cabinet held talks on these issues yesterday, with a finalised plan expected next week.

A spokesperson for the Health Minister said, “The Minister for Health received proposals from the HSE on Monday night about the ongoing rollout of the Covid-19 vaccination programme”.

“These proposals are now being reviewed by the Minister, who will consult further with the CMO and NIAC in the coming days”.

This also comes after a the CEO for BioNtech said that it is working with Pfizer to get approval for a version of the jab which can be stored in the fridge for between 2 and 8 degrees.

CEO Ugur Sahin said, “Our first formulation had to be stored and shipped at minus 80 degrees. We have now, in the meantime, a formulation which is not yet approved ”. He also added “it can be stored at two to eight degrees”. 

“We will most likely reach six months stability at two to eight degrees”, he also added.