People aged over 60 and pregnant women are being invited to make an appointment for a Covid-19 booster dose from Wednesday.
The additional vaccine doses will be available from August 15th, the HSE has said. Those aged between 50 and 64 and people with long-term health conditions will be offered boosters over the coming weeks. Appointments can be made at hse.ie.
Dr Colm Henry, the HSE’s chief clinical officer, said the health authority was putting the most recent vaccine advice into action this week and inviting new groups for their next booster.
“I encourage everyone aged 60 and over and pregnant women to get their next booster dose,” he said. “It will give you ongoing protection from serious illness, and increase your immunity against infection from Covid-19, which we know tends to reduce after a period of months following your last vaccine.”
Eileen Whelan, national lead of the Covid-19 vaccine programme, said the HSE was inviting people for their booster shots “initially in blocks of five years”, starting with those aged 60-64, to “ensure people have a smooth experience booking appointments online and getting their vaccine”.
People who are more than 16 weeks pregnant are also invited to book their next booster at a HSE vaccination centre or from a participating GP.
The HSE and Children’s Health Ireland will shortly be inviting, through their parents, children aged five to 12 who are immunocompromised and due to have a second booster.
“We want people to be aware of the protection vaccines offer and to get their best protection from Covid-19,” Ms Whelan added. “We are also continuing to plan for the autumn, when more groups of people have been recommended to have Covid-19 boosters as well as routine flu vaccines to provide best health protection for the winter ahead.”