Immunologist Professor Luke O’Neill has described the failure to fully vaccinate all the over-60 cohort as “a travesty”.
Over-60s who received the AstraZeneca vaccine should have received their second dose by now, he told RTÉ radio’s Today with Claire Byrne show, but he added that they should have been given an mRNA vaccine for their second dose.
Prof O’Neill predicted that when booster vaccines are given they will be mRNA vaccines as it will have a stronger response. “It would be sensible to give Pfizer as a second dose. I don’t understand why they’re not mixing.”
The two key issues this winter will be ventilation and booster shots, he added.
Killarney road accident
A teenage driver has died and a passenger was seriously injured in a road crash in Killarney, Co Kerry.
Gardaí are investigating the single-vehicle collision which took place on the Ross Road at approximately 1.10am on Wednesday morning.
It is understood the driver was a teenage boy aged 14. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The passenger, another teenage boy, was taken to Kerry University Hospital to receive treatment for serious injuries.
It is understood the driver may have lost control of the vehicle and hit a tree.
PUP cut off date
The Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP), a financial lifeline for thousands over the past 16 months, officially closes to new applicants from Thursday.
The Department for Social Protection said that anyone who loses their job from Thursday onwards should apply for the normal Jobseeker’s payment.
Almost 7,000 fewer people received the weekly payment last week as the subsidy neared its end.
Latest figures supplied by Government showed just over 221,000 recipients receive a total of €65.4 million as the spread of the delta variant places renewed stress on the economy’s ability to bounce back.
Online registration for the Covid vaccine has opened to people aged 34.
The Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly, confirmed on Tuesday that people in the 30 to 34 age group will be able to register online for an mRNA vaccine from Wednesday.
Mr Donnelly said that appointments will follow in a few days, with the first vaccinations for this group next week.
The portal had been due to open this Friday but was brought forward.
Digital Covid certs
Vaccinated people will begin to receive digital Covid certificates for travel in the European Union from Monday, but would-be holidaymakers who have not been vaccinated will have to pay to get a private PCR test if they wish to go abroad.
Up to 170,000 people who have recovered from Covid-19 in the last six months will also be expected to contact a special call centre to get their certificate.
The Cabinet was updated on the plans for international travel on Tuesday amid continued concern over the impact of the Delta variant.
Ministers were briefed on implementing the EU travel certificate, which the Government has committed to doing by July 19th. The public health advice is not to travel abroad for non-essential reasons but Ireland will take part in the EU scheme.