COVID-19: Long queues for vaccines in Ireland as 12 to 15-year- olds able to get coronavirus jab

Thousands of children were vaccinated in Ireland today, with those aged 12 to 15 now able to get a coronavirus jab.

While the youngsters could get a shot from Friday, the rollout began in earnest on Saturday with long queues seen outside vaccination centres.

The Republic of Ireland joins the likes of the United States, Israel, France and a number of other nations who are inoculating young people against COVID-19.

The UK has taken a different approach, with vaccinations only offered to 12 to 15-year-olds with certain medical conditions, or to those who live with vulnerable family members.

In Ireland, about 75,000 in the age range had registered for an appointment by Saturday, with bookings having been open for 48 hours.

Parental consent is needed, with the Pfizer or Moderna jab on offer.

Bill and Sarah Shelley, aged 14 and 12, were taken by their father Michael to get a vaccine in Dublin.

The family queued in the rain to get their shots.

Michael said: “We’re very pleased, I’m delighted they’ve got their first vaccine.

“As parents, protecting them for their future health is one of the main reasons we’re here and keeping schools open is really important too.

“Really happy and really pleased – it went really well. We can’t thank the vaccinators and the team here enough.”

More than 80% of adults in the Republic of Ireland are fully inoculated, and some 90% have had at least one dose of a vaccine.

The Health Service Executive wants to vaccinate those in the 12-15 range “rapidly and quickly”, and that the decision marked a “very strong point” on the country’s fight against COVID.

Another 2,074 coronavirus cases were reported in the country on Saturday.

There were 229 people with COVID in hospital, 43 of whom were in intensive care.

Deputy chief medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn warned on Friday that case rates were rising across the country in all age groups.

He said: “While vaccination has very positively impacted on the proportion of positive cases who end up in hospital or critical care, the current high and increasing incidence will nevertheless result in a significant number of people getting very sick with COVID-19.”

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