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Most children won't be vaccinated when they return to school

Most children won't be vaccinated when they return to school

Most 5 to 11-year-olds won't be offered a Covid vaccine by the time schools reopen in the new year.

The portal for children in that age group deemed high risk will open on December 28th.

The remaining children at high risk will be vaccinated from January 3rd, with the rollout to all other 5-11-year-olds starting on the 10th.

Dr Lucy Jessop from the HSE's National Immunisation Office says vaccinating children reduces their risk of getting Covid - and becoming very sick from it.

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"The risk of children being hospitalised from COVID is extremely low, and indeed the risk of going to intensive care is extremely low.

"Children with certain medical conditions are at higher risk of severe illness and hospitalisation if they get COVID-19.

"However, looking at the data from Ireland, seven out of 10 children admitted to hospital who had COVID-19 in this age group, had no underlying health conditions at all."

It's as Sinn Fรฉin has demanded all schools be fitted with HEPA filters over the Christmas break.

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It comes as NPHET is expected to make recommendations this evening on further restrictions over the Christmas break.

It's expected that will involve cutting down on social mixing and new rules around close contacts.

In the Dรกil Sinn Fรฉin says now is the time to reassess and double the effort in all areas of the fight against Covid.

"The refusal of the government to invest in proper systems to control the spread of COVID-19 in schools have made them far riskier than it should have been.

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You have a window now to right that wrong when schools closed. When they reopen, every poorly ventilated classroom must be fitted with Co2 monitoring systems, and HEPA air filtration systems."

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