Covid booster jabs may become available for everyone, says Taoiseach

ireland
Covid Booster Jabs May Become Available For Everyone, Says Taoiseach
Taoiseach Micheal Martin during a visit to the Citywest Covid-19 Vaccination Centre in Dublin (Brian Lawless/PA), © PA Wire/PA Images
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By Dominic McGrath

Taoiseach Micheal Martin has said that booster jabs to protect people from Covid-19 may become available to all members of the public in the near future.

Speaking in the Botanic Gardens in Dublin, he said that the European Union (EU) was making strong preparations for booster jabs and was being proactive in ensuring vaccine supplies would be available for European member states in the months ahead.

Mr Martin was there alongside Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris to launch a new campaign calling on people to share their views on the future of Irish research.

The campaign, called Creating Our Future, will ask members of the public and community groups to submit ideas and perspectives on what Irish research and innovation should be focusing on.

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“There is an expectation we will require boosters,” Mr Martin said.

“There is ongoing research in respect of the timeline of efficacy of the vaccine and how long you have protection.”

Public Health Nurse Deirdre Murphy with a vial of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccination at the mass vaccination centre in the Helix, DCU, Dublin (Brian Lawless/PA)

Over 70% of adults in Ireland are fully vaccinated from Covid-19.

Looking towards the winter, Mr Martin said great uncertainty remained about the next stages of the pandemic.

Describing any rollout of booster jabs as a “moving situation”, he said it was “something Europe is preparing for and the European Commission is preparing for”

Mr Martin was also asked about the appointment of former minister for children, Katherine Zappone, to a new role of special envoy for freedom of expression.

He said that there were over 40 items on the agenda of Cabinet when it met on Tuesday, noting that this was not the most important issue discussed.

Katherine Zappone (Niall Carson/PA)

He said that the way the appointment was proposed was an “oversight in terms of procedures” by Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney.

In the last 24 hours, some opposition politicians have been critical of the appointment and how it was handled.

Mr Martin said that it was time to “move on” from the issue.

Mr Martin also took the opportunity to highlight the importance of Irish research.

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He asked people to engage with the consultation, noting that science, research and innovation can often feel removed from the public.

He name-checked climate change and Irish biodiversity as key areas for the future of research.

Mr Harris, who said that events would take place in the coming months to highlight the campaign, said one of his own proposals would be about what role Ireland can play in treating cancer.

“We are never shy in this country about giving our views and we’re also passionate about many many things.”

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