Potential of mixed vaccines for over 60s should not be ruled out – David Cullinane TD
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Health David Cullinane TD has called on the Minister for Health to ensure that over 60s who had no choice but to accept the AstraZeneca vaccine are offered a second dose of another vaccine, if the international evidence supports it.
Teachta Cullinane said:
“Thousands of people aged 60 to 69 were given no option but to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine, and are now very concerned by reports of its lower effectiveness against the delta variant.
“As the Delta variant has become dominant in Britain, it is likely to become a dominant strain here too.
“Our priority must be to protect this cohort of over 60s, especially as they must wait a long time for their second dose.
“It is welcome that the gap is being reduced from the original 16 weeks to 8 weeks, but this should be expedited and not phased.
“The Minister must ensure that NIAC examine if the option of a second dose of another vaccine is safe and effective.
“We need to take every measure we can to ensure that our vaccination rollout is both fair and effective.
“That commitment to fairness is brought into doubt if one cohort is left exposed to a new variant.
“There is a possibility of booster shots from other manufacturers and arrangements should urgently be made to procure second generation vaccines for when they become available.”