Oxford Vaccine Should be Used for Over 65’s says Irish Vaccination Expert

With Ireland’s COVID-19 vaccination rollout starting this week, one of the countries leading tropical medicine and vaccination experts has said he believes that the government are making a huge mistake by not using the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine on the over 65 age group.

This decision was taken following a report from the Germany’s Robert Koch Institute which stated there isn’t enough data available as yet to show that this vaccination is effective in the older age group.

Dr Graham Fry, Founder and Group Medical Director of Tropical Medical Bureau, has said that the decision not to use the Oxford vaccination on this segment of our population is “questionable and at variance to advice from WHO and UK authorities”. In addition, Dr Fry says that “the logistics of using the mRNA vaccines for this age group are considerable and frequently will be wasteful.”

Dr Fry said, “this same situation has been recognised with hepatitis B vaccines for decades. In that group, further vaccine doses may be needed to stimulate an ageing immune system. The Oxford vaccine may not be perfect, but on balance it must be the best currently available option to provide rapid deployment throughout the population.”

He continued, “One dose of any of the vaccines has been shown to provide a level of coverage against the more serious problems associated with COVID.  With the Irish authorities not using the Oxford vaccine for the over 65 year olds, that is going to seriously affect the distribution of vaccines to that very vulnerable cohort.”

The government have said that the over 65 age group will receive the Pfizer vaccine. This will more than likely mean they will need to be transported to a major vaccine centre to receive it, which puts them at a higher risk of contracting the disease.

“The longer we wait for vaccine coverage within the population (and globally) the higher the chance of mutations occurring is, which may or may not be covered by the current vaccines. The sooner coverage is in place and COVID levels are lower and lower the less the chance of mutation”, said Dr Fry.


Dr Graham Fry is available for interview. Please contact Niamh Waters, niamh@travelmedia.ie, +353 860492394 to arrange.

Dr Graham Fry – Founder and Group Medical Director

The Tropical Medical Bureau was founded in 1986 by Dr Graham Fry. As the leading Tropical Medical Consultant in the country, Dr Fry plays a pivotal role in the organisation, whether consulting with patients, lecturing to medical students in Trinity College or dealing with media focussed tropical issues on radio and television. His enormous medical experience and expertise in technology have combined to ensure that the TMB occupies national pride of place in tropical medical care.

About Tropical Medical Bureau Group

The Tropical Medical Bureau Group (encompassing Nomad Travel in the UK) is the leading travel medicine clinic group in Ireland, specialists in providing the best information and medical care available for the international traveller. Collectively, the TMB Group sees approximately 60,000 patients on an annual basis, ranging from the private holiday maker to employees of commercial companies, and overseas volunteers to NGO’s and Government departments, all of whom benefit from the expertise of our highly experienced clinic staff.

Since it was founded in 1988, TMB has undergone major growth and expansion to currently encompass 30 clinics, 20 clinics in Ireland (four base clinics and 16 associate clinics). In 2016, TMB acquired Nomad Travel Clinics in the UK. Nomad Travel Clinics has 25 years’ experience in travel health, pharmacy & retail, throughout 10 clinics across the UK.

What distinguishes TMB is our vast experience and expertise, as well as our superb patient aftercare. All our patients have a detailed consultation with one of our specialised healthcare staff. This covers everything from food and water risks, mosquito avoidance, malaria and thrombosis, as well as risks associated from altitude exposure, and also Zika and COVID-19 risks, which may be associated with your trip. Following a detailed consultation, we then decide on which travel vaccines and malaria tablets are appropriate. Our specialised travel medicine software is constantly being updated with travel news, so if anything is happening in your destination that you need to be aware of, we will make sure you are.

For more travel health tips and advice call your local TMB clinic and book in to speak with one of our qualified professionals.

To book an appointment for vaccinations and see a list of our base and associate clinics, please contact Tropical Medical Bureau on 00-353-1-2715-200 or visit www.tmb.ie.

Niamh Waters
Senior Account Manager
+353 86 049 2394