Clare Infectious Disease Expert Says Vaccinating 5 To 12 Year Olds Would Be The Right Move

A Clare native infectious disease expert believes vaccinating children will limit the spread of COVID-19 and is the right thing to do.

Primary school children have returned to their desks after the midterm break, with incidence rates of the virus particularly high among the 5 to 12 age group.


Classroom doors have reopened again this morning after the October break, with some primary teachers in this county saying they’re ‘gravely concerned’ about returning to work.

The Chief Medical Officer says he’s conscious of parents concerns and says evidence shows child to child transmission in school settings is uncommon.

But DCU Professor of Health Systems Anthony Staines disagrees with Tony Holohan.

Of the more than 29,000 COVID cases confirmed in Ireland in the two weeks up to Thursday, around 15 percent of them were in children aged between 5 and 12.

The incidence rate of the virus in Clare in that fortnightly period is the sixth highest in the country, at 729.7 per 100,000 people.

The National Immunisation Advisory Committee has yet to approve the use of COVID-19 vaccines for children under 12.

However, Sixmilebridge native and Professor of Life Sciences at the University of Nottingham, James McInerney, believes it would be the correct call.

Clare’s INTO representative says it could take up to five years to ensure primary school classrooms are properly ventilated.

Frustration has been expressed by some teachers and immunologists alike that the focus of preventing disease should be on air filtration measures, something which they argue isn’t adequate in most schools.

Brendan Horan, Clare’s INTO rep, says allowing proper ventilation in current facilities would prove very difficult.