The gap between two doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine can be reduced from 12 weeks to eight, the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) has advised.
Responding to the new advice from the NIAC Labour TD Ged Nash said what the people of Louth and East Meath will want to know is if it will be implemented.
The Louth TD backed the call from Labour Leader Alan Kelly for the Minister for Health to provide clarity, especially for those in the 60-69 age cohort.
He said:“This is a welcome development from NIAC but we need clarity on whether the shorter eight week gap between doses will now be implemented?
"The evidence from a Public Health England study is clear, the first dose of AstraZeneca only provides 33% protection against the new delta variant that first appeared in India.
"This has caused so much concern with people in the 60-69 aged cohort and their families, and the increasing incidence of the new variant that is causing such concern.
“Labour leader Alan Kelly has raised this with the government on a number of occasions asking them to get the experts in NIAC to look at it, as there is significant public concern about the three month wait, and I have have been inundated with queries from so many in the 60-69 age cohort worried about the emerging risk from the new delta variant.
"I also raised this in the Dáil with Minister Donnelly.
“They are worried and their families are worried. The advice from the experts is now clear.
“These people waiting for their second dose are likely to be among the most vulnerable and will have to wait the longest to be fully vaccinated and are at real risk from new variants.
“With this clear recommendation from NPHET and NIAC we need clarity from the Minister for Health if he will act to implement this new advice.”
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