Covid-19 – Vaccine Roll out Programme

To: All Mandate Members

Re: Reply from Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly

Date: 13th April 2021

Dear Member

I wrote to the Minister for Health on 31 March 2021 in connection with the Covid-19 Vaccine Roll out Programme priority groups. We received the below response from the Minister’s Office.

Yours fraternally
Gerry Light
General Secretary

9th April 2021‎

Dear Mr Light,

On behalf of the Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly T.D., I would like to thank you for your correspondence and to inform you that the contents have been noted.

The COVID-19 Vaccine Allocation Strategy sets out a provisional list of groups for vaccination. The Strategy was developed by the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) and the Department of Health, endorsed by the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET), and approved by Government on 8 December 2020.

On the 23rd of February, the Minister of Health announced an update to Ireland’s COVID-19 Vaccine Allocation Strategy. In comprising the initial Vaccine Allocation Strategy, the NIAC listed several conditions associated with increased risk of severe disease and death. In the intervening period, national and international evidence has become available which has enabled a more detailed analysis of underlying conditions that may increase the risk of developing severe disease or death. The NIAC has now been able to more comprehensively identify those medical conditions and to distinguish between those which place a person at very high or high risk of severe disease if they contract the virus. Medical conditions and the magnitude of the risk they pose will continue to be monitored and periodically reviewed. 

On the 30th of March, the Government approved a further update to the COVID-19 Vaccination Allocation Strategy. Based on clinical, scientific and ethical frameworks produced by the National Immunisation Advisory Committee and the Department of Health, following the vaccination of those most at risk, future groups will be vaccinated by age, in cohorts of 10 years (i.e., 64-55; 54-45, etc.).

The move to an age-based model better supports the programme objectives by:
‎ • protecting those at highest risk of severe disease first, which benefits everyone most;
‎ • facilitating planning and execution of the programme across the entire country;
‎ • improving transparency and fairness. 

Further details are available here:

I hope this is of assistance to you.

‎Yours sincerely
Private Secretary to the Minister for Health