HSE to call on 40-50 age group to register for Covid vaccine within days – Paul Reid

The HSE is to call on people aged between 40-50 to register for a Covid-19 vaccine through the online portal in the next week, Chief Executive Paul Reid has confirmed.

r Reid confirmed that the HSE will issue a communication to this age group, which is next on the updated prioritisation list, in the coming days.

“There is always a brief period before we start moving into the next age group.

“Forty to fifty will be next [age group] and we will be communicating out on that later next week, for people to start registering on that portal,” Mr Reid said on RTÉ Radio.

Despite the massive levels of disruption caused by the ransomware attack on the HSE’s IT system, the vaccination programme and testing for Covid-19 continue unhindered.

The online portal for registering for vaccination is housed on a separate system so is not affected. The portal was taken offline yesterday to be checked for cybersecurity breaches but was restored last night.

Anyone from the age of 50-69 can currently register for their vaccine via this portal.

The HSE has asked anyone due for a vaccination to turn up to their appointment as normal today.

If someone wishes to be tested for Covid-19 in the coming days – if they are a close contact of a confirmed case or have symptoms – the HSE is advising them to attend the nearest Covid-19 walk-in testing centre.

This can be done without an appointment and locations of the test centres are published here.

The advice on lowering the age limit for use of AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson will be delivered soon by the Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan to the HSE, after Niac made their recommendation to Dr Holohan this week.

HSE Chief Paul Reid said he expects correspondence on the matter “soon” and confirmed that over two million vaccines had been administered in the State.

“1.5m first doses have been given so far, which is 40pc of the adult population, with 500,000 people fully covered – 11pc of our population.

“Somewhere between 260-280,000 vaccines will be administered next week,” Mr Reid said.

No new Covid-19 figures of deaths and cases will be announced by Nphet today due to the ongoing ransomware attack on the HSE’s IT systems.

The HSE’s internal communications system is also crippled due to the hack so new cases and further deaths of people with Covid-19 can’t be recorded and collated.

HSE Chief Operations Officer Anne O’Connor today said that the health service’s systems will be down for “several days” and that the HSE expects to be impacted for up to a week.

“Due to the current disruption of the HSE IT systems daily Covid-19 figures are not available. Backdated figures will be published when possible,” a Department of Health spokesperson said.

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