NIAC Recommends Changes For COVID Vaccine Booster

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The  Minister for Health has announced changes to the Covid-19 vaccination programme.

The National Immunisation Advisory Council  has recommended:

· a first mRNA booster vaccine for those aged 5-11 years who are immunocompromised

· a second mRNA booster vaccine for those aged 50-64 years

· a second mRNA booster vaccine for those aged 12-49 years who have an underlying medical condition or are residents of long-term care facilities

· a second mRNA booster vaccine for pregnant women at 16 weeks or later who have not already received a booster vaccine in their current pregnancy

· a second mRNA booster vaccine for healthcare workers

· a third mRNA booster vaccine for those aged 65 years and older, and those aged 12-64 years who are immunocompromised

NIAC has also recommended that COVID-19 vaccines may be given at the same time as the seasonal flu vaccines.

Booster doses should be given 4 months after a previous COVID-19 vaccine dose or a previous natural infection.

A booster dose after an infection has been shown to provide additional protection.

It continues to be recommended that people get and complete their primary vaccine course and booster shot(s) if they haven’t already done so.

The interim Chief Medical Officer,  Professor Breda Smyth says the vaccines have been effective in preventing people from becoming severely unwell and thus avoiding pressure on the health service.

The HSE will now begin to rollout these vaccinations. There are 631 people in hospital with or because of Covid –  39 of these people are in ICU.

The current PCR test results show a positivity rate of 26%  which is a decreasing and improving rate.