National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) issues new guidance on prioritisation groups for COVID-19 vaccination

No 6 Kildare Street facade

National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) issues new guidance on prioritisation groups for COVID-19 vaccination for those aged 65 and older and those aged 16 to 64 with medical conditions that put them at high risk of severe disease.

NIAC will continue to look at other priority groups yet to be vaccinated including those working or living in high-risk situations, carers and those who are socially vulnerable or disadvantaged.

The National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) has issued new evidence-based guidance to the Chief Medical Officer on prioritisation groups for COVID-19 vaccination. The next groups identified are those aged 16 - 69 years with medical conditions associated with a very high risk of severe COVID-19 and all those aged 65-69 years. The NIAC advice is available here.

Based on national and international evidence, the at-risk medical conditions can be subdivided into those associated with very high and high risk for severe COVID-19  disease. Those aged 16-69 with very high-risk conditions are at similar risk of  severe  COVID-19  as those aged 70-74 years and should be next for vaccination. Commenting on the new advice, which has been adopted by the Government, Professor Karina Butler, Chair of NIAC, says that the most urgent goal of the vaccination programme remains to protect individuals at highest risk of severe COVID-19 disease.

“Following this, the next group for vaccination is those aged 65 to 69 years with those at high risk of severe COVID-19 vaccinated first.  NIAC suggests that unvaccinated healthcare workers and those  providing  services  essential  to  the  vaccination programme are  vaccinated  at the same time. Thereafter, all others aged 16 – 64 with high risk medical conditions should be offered vaccination”.

“NIAC will continue to look at the priority for other groups including those working or  living  in  high-risk situations, carers and those who are socially vulnerable or disadvantaged while the groups with medical conditions placing them at highest risk for severe COVID-19 disease are being vaccinated,” Professor Butler said.

This guidance will be subject to ongoing review as more evidence becomes available about COVID-19  vaccine  safety,  efficacy,  effectiveness,  impact  on  virus  transmission  and population  immunity and as  new  vaccines  are  authorised  by  the  European  Medicines  Agency (EMA)  and  become  available  in  Ireland.

Learn more about the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC). 

Updated Recommendations: Priority Groups for COVID-19 Vaccination

Issued February 2021

New guidance from the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) on prioritisation groups for COVID-19 vaccination for those aged 65 and older and those aged 16 to 64 with medical conditions that put them at high risk of severe disease.

For media queries, contact:

Kate Healy

Corporate Communications Manager

Tel: + 353 85 8722 109

Kate manages the Corporate Communications department at RCPI.

Ian Tracy

Communications Executive

Tel: +353 86 796 5186

For general press enquiries, contact Ian in our Communications Department.