The HSE is hoping to offer every adult a booster vaccine to protect against the Omicron variant by the end of January or early February.
The head of the HSE’s vaccination campaign, Damien McCallion, said the booster campaign was working through each cohort as quickly as possible.
The campaign will continue to expand this week with more centres opening at the Richmond Barracks and the RDS in Dublin and another in Cork city centre, he said.
Mr McCallion told Newstalk Breakfast and RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland that 1.5 million booster vaccines have been administered to date. There were 300,000 doses given last week alone, he said, with more than 50,000 doses administered on some days.
Mr McCallion urged the public to monitor availability of booster doses through the HSE’s website and pointed out that booster vaccines continue to be available through three channels – vaccination centres for appointments and walk-ins, GP surgeries by appointment and pharmacies by appointment.
Mr McCallion acknowledged that some centres were under pressure with long queues, and he advised people to check social media and local radio through which the HSE was giving regular updates.
The queues had eased back during the day, he said. “In general it has worked very well”.
When asked when people in their twenties and thirties who had received the one-dose Janssen vaccine would receive their booster, Mr McCallion said that the advice was that the campaign should progress through the list on the basis of priority.
As the campaign progressed other age cohorts could be brought forward. Details for such expansions will be finalised this week, he said.
“When we see gaps, we will bring people forward.”
Mr McCallion added that the first dose of the vaccine was also being provided to up to 10,000 people per week. This was encouraging, he said. Anyone who has not yet been vaccinated can go to a walk-in clinic.