The Department of Health on Friday said more than 7,000 people between the ages of 50 and 59 had received their COVID-19 vaccine even though the rollout has not officially opened for this age group.
The electronic vaccination data system was opened to the 50s category on Thursday and eligible people in this age group can expect to get their jabs from mid-July.
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The department said 354,000 people over 50 registered on Thursday alone and those who pitched up at vaccination sites were not sent away.
Dr Nicholas Crisp said they were planning to open the registration for the next age group, the 40 to 49 category soon.
“That cohort has 7 million people in it. And as we take on each of these groups, we just want to make sure that we are generating demand. The reason why we are targeting age groups is because there’s plenty of clinical evidence that age is a major factor more than any other factor in keeping people well and out of hospital with severe infections. You can still get mild infections as the other presentations have shown, but our objective is to keep people out of hospital at least,” he said.