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06 Jul 2022

Big boost given to the Covid-19 booster programme after Christmas

Big boost given to the Covid-19 booster programme after Christmas

The Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly TD, has announced an acceleration of Ireland’s COVID-19 vaccination programme. 

All age groups will be eligible to receive a booster vaccine by January 10, in parallel with all children aged 5 -11 years being offered a primary vaccination dose.

The Department of Health says it will be accelerated as follows:

- From Wednesday, 29 December, offering people aged 30 to 39 the opportunity to receive a booster dose/primary dose in Vaccination Centres and pharmacies. GPs are already authorised to vaccinate this group.
 

- From Wednesday 29 December, offering boosters to people aged 16 to 29 who received Janssen. These will be available through GPs and pharmacy (where pharmacy have the necessary stock) initially. There will then be bespoke clinics running from the following week in Vaccination Centres to support this group.
 

From January 10, offering booster dose/primary dose to all people aged 16 to 29.
 

Children aged 5 - 11 years who:
- have a health condition that puts them at risk of severe illness from COVID-19

or

live with someone who us at higher risk from COVID-19

will be offered a vaccine in Vaccination Centres from the week commencing 3 January. Vaccination is already available to this cohort in hospitals.

All other 5–11-year-olds will be offered a primary dose of COVID-19 from January 8. The portal to book an appointment will open on Tuesday 28 December.
 

Minister Donnelly said: “For most children COVID-19 is a mild illness which will resolve. However, a small minority of children will have more serious disease, and some may experience long-term consequences of COVID-19 infection, including for example long COVID. 

“As pointed out by NIAC, the potential benefits of vaccination are most obvious for children with underlying conditions, and this is way we are prioritising vaccination for them. COVID-19 has had a significant, negative impact on the lives of all of us, particularly the educational and social lives of our children. The necessary public health measures have disrupted the various developmental opportunities that our children engage in with their peers. All of these factors have informed this decision to accelerate Ireland’s COVID-19 vaccination programme.

“Vaccination offers an extra level of protection for all of us, and I would encourage parents to engage with the trusted health advice available on www.hse.ie, and with your own family clinician if you have any concerns about bringing your child for this vaccine. I would also encourage you to discuss this update to our vaccination programme with your child and ensure that they are aware that vaccination will soon be available to them,” he said.

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