People under 50 years old across Ireland could get the Covid vaccine quicker than planned.
Discussions take place today amongst Government Ministers to speed up the plan.
This is expected to be the busiest week yet for the programme, with between 220,000 and 240,000 jabs scheduled across the country.
However, changes to restrictions on the use of the AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, alongside fluctuating delivery schedules, have presented Ministers with a choice of accelerating the programme for under-50s or potentially having hundreds of thousands of unused doses by mid-summer.
On Sunday, HSE chief executive Paul Reid warned that if people in their 50s were still waiting for vaccines while those in their 30s were receiving them, it would not be good from a public health perspective.
The Irish Times reports that HSE officials are working on a revised vaccination schedule and a memo on the programme is expected to be discussed at Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting.
A key issue will be maintaining momentum to reach the target of more than 80% of adults receiving or being offered a first dose by the end of June.
The National Immunisation Advisory Council (Niac) has essentially advised that the AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines be used for people over 50.