Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly TD, has announced those aged 65 and older and those who are immunocompromised should receive a second booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

The announcement followed a recommendation by the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) to the Chief Medical Officer.

Minister Donnelly said: “I welcome today’s update to Ireland’s vaccination programme. COVID-19 vaccines have achieved extraordinary success in preventing severe disease, hospitalisation and death. These vaccines continue to have a very good safety profile with hundreds of millions of doses administrated globally.

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“Those who are unvaccinated or incompletely vaccinated continue to be disproportionality affected and account for approximately a third of hospitalisations for COVID-19. As such, I urge anyone for whom an additional dose of vaccine has been recommended, or anyone yet to receive their primary course or booster vaccine do so as soon as possible.”

Tadhg Daly, NHI CEO, said: “COVID-19 is widespread within our communities and this has direct implications for nursing home residents and staff. The vaccine has enhanced levels of protection for residents against the virus and it is critical we do not allow its effectiveness wane.

“We have advocated NIAC and public health prioritise consideration for roll-out of the second booster and the decision is welcome. The requirement now is to prioritise nursing home residents in expediting and achieving effective rollout of the vaccination. Our engagement with public health in this regard continues.”  

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