Photo credit: EU Parliament

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has confirmed that European Commission President Urusla Von Der Leyen told him they were looking into acquiring “hundreds of millions” of vaccine doses for 2022 and 2023 so that a mass vaccination program of children could begin.

“It might be interesting to note that the president of the [European] Commission was in touch with me over a fortnight ago, and the Commission is getting ahead of this,” the Taoiseach said during an interview on Virgin Media’s Tonight Show.

“They look forward to a situation where we will have a faster readjustment of vaccines – particularly the mRNA vaccines. To deal with any emerging variants, for example, in the future,” he added.

“They’re looking at ordering vaccines to vaccinate teenagers and children. They feel that scientists are telling the European Commission that this is the next phase. And so they’re ordering millions of more vaccines for 2022 and 2023. So what I see evolving is a more advanced sort of settled pattern of dealing with this pandemic.”

The comments come shortly after the European Court of Human Rights ruled that countries could legally mandate children to receive the covid-19 vaccines by law.

Shortly before that, Trinity college immunisation Professor Luke O’Neill has said that “if we want to get herd immunity, we’re going to have to vaccinate the children.”

Professor O’Neill on The Tonight Show with Virgin Media also said that “the Pfizer vaccine causes [blood] clots” in “some people”.

To date, not one individual under 18 has died of covid-19 in the Republic of Ireland, and studies continue to show that the odds of healthy children dying from covid-19 are infinitesimally small.