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COVID Vaccination: Concern for the over-60s
There has been a great deal of positivity relating to the roll-out of the vaccine in Ireland. However, many members of one cohort are unhappy over the treatment they have received.
People aged 60 to 69 differ from other age groups, as for the most part, they alone have received the AstraZeneca vaccine.
The state’s vaccination programme has been reluctant to vary the offering to those in the 16 to 69 age group despite AstraZeneca’s evident shortcomings.
There is concern that this is driven by supply concerns, and there appears to be an unwillingness on the part of the government and Department of Health to make further changes to the roll-out programme, which is now running smoothly.
There have been well-published concerns over a link between the AstraZeneca vaccine and rare blood clots, and clear indications that this vaccine is less effective than the other available vaccines. There is also some emerging evidence that a second AstraZeneca dose results in lower immunity than where another mRNA vaccine is given, secondary to a first dose of AstraZeneca.
Speaking on RTÉ Radio One’s Today with Claire Byrne show, Luke O’Neill, professor of biochemistry at Trinity College Dublin has called the failure to fully vaccinate all the 60 to 69-year-old cohort “a travesty”¹, adding that over-60s who received the AstraZeneca vaccine should have received their second dose by now.
The outcome of administering AstraZeneca to this cohort is that many younger people are becoming fully vaccinated long before the 60 to 69 age group have received a second dose, despite the fact that those in the older cohort are deemed to be at much greater risk from infection.
¹Irish Times, 07.07.2021
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