Decision to mix vaccines welcome
Labour leader and health spokesperson Alan Kelly has welcomed the news that NIAC has approved the mixing of vaccines, a matter he first raised in April.
Deputy Kelly said:
“The HSE has done trojan work throughout the vaccine rollout and it’s incredible to think we have delivered 6,409,339 shots into people’s arm to date. We are in a very different place with the virus than we were this time last year and its welcome to see that NIAC have approved the mixing of vaccines for those who suffer an adverse reaction to the first or request a different vaccine for their second shot.
“This news will be particularly welcomed by those in the over 60s age cohort, who we have campaigned on behalf of over the past number of months. For many months I have been raising the concerns of those in the 60-69 age group, some people in cohorts 4 and 7, and also some healthcare workers, all of whom were vaccinated with AstraZeneca and who initially had a 14-week wait for their second dose and then a 12-week wait.
“They have been messed around by the Government from the very start, with extremely long wait times between their first and second jab while people in less vulnerable categories were fully vaccinated. This will provide all those who have received the first dose of AstraZeneca with a great level of reassurance.
“I first asked Government to consider last April, as much research shows the benefits that this can have for inoculating the population. Many countries took this research on board earlier so this represents a positive step in the right direction in speeding up the rate of vaccination.
“Vaccinators up and down the country continue to work flat out to ensure that we are all protected in the race against the Delta variant. They have more than played their part for the country this year.”