| 4.3°C Dublin

Babies as young as six months to be offered Covid-19 vaccine for the first time

Parents who have very immunocompromised children are expected to be the most likely to avail of the jab

Close

The vaccines are given as injections in the upper arm or thigh. Photo: Getty Images

The vaccines are given as injections in the upper arm or thigh. Photo: Getty Images

The vaccines are given as injections in the upper arm or thigh. Photo: Getty Images

Children in Ireland as young as six months are to be offered a Covid-19 vaccine for the first time, it has emerged.

The vaccine is currently only  available to children aged five years and older, but the advice to reduce eligibility to six months comes from the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (Niac).

It will require a statutory instrument and new protocols drawn up by the HSE’s national immunisation office before being rolled out.

Parents will be asked to give their consent before the jab is administered.

Those who have very immunocompromised children are expected to be the most likely to avail of the jab.

In November, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) recommended the use of Pfizer and Moderna Covid-19 vaccines for children aged six months to four years. It said that compared to the doses for already authorised age groups, the doses of both vaccines in these younger age groups will be lower.

In children aged six months to four years, the Pfizer vaccine can be given as a primary vaccination consisting of three doses of three micrograms each. The first two doses are given three weeks apart, followed by a third, at least eight weeks after the second dose.

The most common side effects for both vaccines, in children aged six months to four or five years, were comparable to those in older age groups

In children aged six months to five years, Moderna can be given as a primary vaccination consisting of two doses of 25 micrograms each, four weeks apart. For children within these age groups, both vaccines are given as injections in the upper arm or thigh.

For Pfizer, a main study in children from six months to four years showed that the immune response to the lower dose was comparable to that seen with the higher dose of 30 micrograms in 16- to 25-year-olds.

For Moderna, a study in children from six months to five years showed that the immune response to the lower dose of 25 micrograms was comparable to that seen with the higher dose of 100 micrograms in 18- to 25-year-olds.

Daily Digest Newsletter

Get ahead of the day with the morning headlines at 7.30am and Fionnán Sheahan's exclusive take on the day's news every afternoon, with our free daily newsletter.

This field is required

The most common side effects for both vaccines, in children aged six months to four or five years, were comparable to those in older age groups. Irritability, sleepiness, loss of appetite, rash and tenderness at the injection site were also common side effects with Pfizer in children aged six months to 23 months.

Irritability, crying, loss of appetite and sleepiness were common side effects with Moderna in children aged six months to three years.

For both vaccines, these effects were usually mild or moderate and improved within a few days.



Related topics


Most Watched





Privacy