Additional reporting by Vivienne Clarke
Dr Lucy Jessop, Director of the National Immunisation Office has said that the first vaccinations for the 12 to 15 years ago group could go ahead this weekend.
Registration for this age cohort will open on Thursday, she told RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland. Consent from one parent or a guardian will be required and she urged them to read the details of the vaccination on the HSE’s website.
“It’s important that a parent make the right choice for their family.”
Dr Jessop, who is also a Director of Public Health and is responsible for the coordination of all national immunisation programmes, said that the vaccine will be available through vaccination centres, GPs and pharmacies.
Parents and guardians should read up on all the information, she urged.
“I think there will be good take up,” she said, particularly in advance of the return to school.
This age group will be given the Pfizer vaccine which had been shown to be appropriate for the cohort, she said. International studies had shown there were no safety concerns.
While children generally recovered well if they had Covid-19, there had been a few cases of Long Covid in children in Ireland, she said.
It comes as almost 9,000 people received a first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine at walk-in centres over the weekend.
HSE Chief Executive Paul Reid says two thirds of those who showed up hadn't previously registered for a vaccine.
The first vaccines for those aged 12 to 15 are expected to be administered this weekend, with the portal opening on Thursday.
Almost another 9,000 people had a dose 1 vaccine administered in our Walk In centres the weekend. 2/3 of these hadn't previously registered. All age groups were represented and on occasions full families attended. We're on the final leg of the vaccination programme now. @HSELive
— Paul Reid (@paulreiddublin) August 9, 2021
There has been a more stark warning though from a consultant in infectious diseases who expects more people to end up in hospital with Covid in the coming weeks.
As the Irish Examiner reports, It is after virus case numbers were above 1,800 for the second day in a row, with 1,837 new cases detected.
Currently, there are 208 patients being treated in hospital for the virus, a rise of 10 on the previous day, with 31 in intensive care.
RCSI Senior Lecturer Eoghan de Barra says a surge in Covid admissions will have knock on effects on non-Covid care.
“This is an additional number of patients that wouldn't normally be in hospital at this time of year,” said Dr de Barra.
“A 200-300 burden of patients that are more complex and have to be isolated from the rest of the hospital means space, capacity diverted away from business as usual.
“We know a lot of business as usual has been paused or postponed for many months."
Dr de Barra welcomed the high level of testing as the HSE estimate over 23,000 swabs were taken in community testing sites over the weekend.