Health Minister, Stephen Donnelly has announced that those aged 65 and over in residential care and those aged 80 and over in the community, will be able to receive booster shots.
Based on new advice from the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) and the chief medical officer (CMO), a booster dose can be given after an interval of six months following a first vaccination.
NIAC said they considered the emerging evidence relating to decreasing immunity, vaccine effectiveness of a booster dose against the Delta variant of Covid-19 in protecting against serious disease including hospitalisations, ICU admissions and death, as well as safety data in respect of a booster dose.
They also considered global vaccine equity and upholding the principles of minimising harm, fairness and moral equality as outlined in the National Vaccine Allocation Framework.
Minister Donnelly said: “Once again this week, we have seen some of the necessary public health restrictions eased thanks to the enormous efforts the Irish people have made to continue to follow the public health advice and, in particular in relation to our amazing levels of vaccine uptake.”
Most at risk
“Vaccination remains our pathway out of this pandemic, and as with the earlier phases of our vaccination programme, this update to the programme ensures that we continue to prioritise our most at risk loved ones from the risks posed by Covid-19.”
It comes as the Department of Health have confirmed a further 1,545 cases of Covid-19. They said as of 8am today, 335 Covid-19 patients are hospitalised and 56 are in ICU.
There has also been a total of 5,155 deaths related to Covid-19 notified in Ireland. This includes 43 deaths newly notified in the past week (since last Wednesday).
Dr. Tony Holohan said this evening: “Overall the incidence of Covid-19 infection is declining across the country, the five-day moving average is 1,407, and we see a stabilisation of ICU and hospital admissions.
“Incidence of COVID-19 in adolescents and young adults is falling significantly, and we are seeing early encouraging signs that the rate of infection plateauing in children of school going age. NPHET will continue to monitor this trend over the coming weeks.
“Vaccination continues to offer the best protection against the most severe effects of Covid-19 including hospitalisation and death.”