Fianna Fail - An Taoiseach Michéal Martin

Taoiseach Says Important Point In Vaccinating Children Is Almost At Hand

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The Government will look to introduce covid-19 vaccines for primary school children pending approval from the European Medicines Agency and the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC), probably in the New Year according to Taoiseach Michéal Martin.

In Canada approval has been granted for issuing vaccines to children aged five to eleven. Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine will be used in the innoculation of primary school aged children.

Michéal Martin said that the EMA was due to give its decision within the next week or so and Niac would then consider the EMA advice before making its recommendation to government.

We will have to go to Niac here but I would support the roll out to children in due course once it’s authorised by the relevant authorities who have the clinical expertise to make that recommendation but that’s something we will look at very closely.”

We have to get the recommendation from the EMA, similar to the FDA and that I believe is due within the next week or two but then there will be a different calibration here because the dosage for children will be much lower than the dosage for adults so that is a difference.

You are looking at a much lower volume of vaccine for children compared to adults but it’s something on the horizon and on the agenda but again it’s all in the context of the advice we will receive from Niac and the medical experts.”

Asked if he thought that the roll out of vaccines to primary school children could happen before Christmas, Mr Martin said he did not think that was possible given the organisational and logistical challenges it poses even though he was confident companies could meet the demand for vaccines.