Nursing homes, healthcare workers & over 75s will get vaccine first


Nursing homes, healthcare workers and over 75s will get the first access to COVID vaccines under plans going to cabinet today.

The first vaccinations on the island of Ireland will also be administered in Northern Ireland later.

Northern Ireland will roll out COVID vaccines from today but people in the Republic will likely be waiting until January.

Cabinet Ministers will approve recommendations from NPHET about who will get first access to whatever vaccines are approved for use in the EU.

Nursing home residents will be top of the list.

They'll be followed by frontline healthcare workers who are in contact with patients.

Third in line will be those over 70 and this will be managed on a tiered basis based on age.

Those over 85 will get the vaccine first, followed by the 80-84, 75-79 and 70-74 age groups.

The precise detail of how that'll be managed will be given by the vaccination roll-out taskforce which is due to report on Friday.

A significant communications strategy is also being prepared by the government to provide a fact and evidence based approach to answering questions and concerns from the public.

While the European Medicines Agency has until December 29th to decide whether to approve the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for use here, a government spokesman has said the Irish plan will be comprehensive ensure to ensure roll out very quickly once that happens.