Varadkar’s Vaccination Vexation

Leo Varadkar - Contemplative - Furrowed

The Tánaiste has said the roll-out of vaccines to over-70s may be delayed as the state avoids using the AstraZeneca vaccine in older people.

There will be logistical challenges which GPs say they can overcome as a result.

The news came last night that the AstraZeneca vaccine won’t be used where possible in over-70s.

The National Immunisation Advisory Committee says the vaccine is safe in adults, and this is from an abundance of caution.

AstraZeneca was hailed as the game-changer because it can be kept at fridge temperature.

The vaccines taskforce met this morning with NPHET and the HSE also considering what this news will mean for the vaccination timeline.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar says logistics will now delay vaccines for over-70s ”I’m advised that the vaccination of over 85’s will begin the middle of February as planned. Because we’ll have to the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines of which there is less supply, as opposed to the Astrazeneca vaccine, the roll-out will be slower and I can’t give you exact timeframes and dates on that at this stage, but it will allow us to speed up the vaccine programme for healthcare workers and high-risk people who are under 70.”

The chair of the National Immunisation Advisory Committee Professor Karina Butler sayings it’s because of lack of data:

There is a difference in the efficiacy between the mRNA vaccines and the Astrazeneca vaccines.”