Public urged to get Covid-19 booster amid 'sharp' rise in cases

Public Urged To Get Covid-19 Booster Amid 'Sharp' Rise In Cases
Dr Colm Henry, chief clinical officer, HSE speaking during a Covid-19 update briefing at the Department of Health, in Dublin. Photo: PA Images
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Amy Blaney

The HSE is urging those who have not yet received a Covid-19 vaccine or booster to get their vaccine as cases have continued to rise in recent weeks.

Dr Colm Henry, HSE chief clinical officer said there has been a sharp increase in cases and hospitalisations in recent weeks which may be due to emerging variants of the virus.


Dr Henry particularly urged those aged over 65, and those aged 12 and over with a weak immune system to avail of their second booster vaccine.

“While there was a reduction in the incidence of covid-19 infection in recent months, we have seen a sharp increase in cases and hospitalisations in recent weeks,” he said.

“This rise may be attributable in part to emerging variants of Omicron, which can evade immunity from either natural infection with a previous variant or vaccination.

“Vaccination still affords protection from serious illness and many of those hospitalised did not receive their booster vaccine or did not receive a primary vaccination course.”


While Damien McCallion, HSE national lead for vaccination said since December 2020, more than four million people have received their primary covid-19 vaccine and more than 3.22 million people have had at least one booster dose.

Mr McCallion urged those who have not yet availed of their vaccine or booster to do so.

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“While some vaccination centres around the country have closed or will shortly close, we are retaining 15 vaccination centres nationally to ensure that there is access to vaccination over the summer for anyone who requires it,” he said.

Mr McCallion said the HSE will move onto the next stage of the vaccination programme in June, and are currently offering a second booster vaccine to those aged over-65 and those who are immunocompromised over the age of 12.


“We are currently working on our plans for the autumn / winter period. We know that the flu vaccine will again be an important part of the plan to protect those who are most vulnerable and we will be ready to respond to any further NIAC guidance in relation to further COVID 19 vaccines in the autumn.

“It is likely that NIAC will recommend a gap between vaccines so it’s important that those who are eligible get their second Covid-19 booster as soon as possible.”

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