Pregnant women in Ireland are to be offered an mRNA Covid-19 vaccine at any stage of their pregnancy, health minister Stephen Donnelly has announced.
The update follows recommendations made by the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) to the chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan.
The NIAC has recommended that children from 12 years of age and women at any stage of pregnancy should be offered an mRNA Covid-19 vaccination.
In April this year, the NIAC recommended that pregnant women be offered mRNA Coivd-19 vaccination between 14-36 weeks' gestation.
The NIAC said it has updated this recommendation based on the growing body of evidence on the safety and effectiveness of vaccination.
Mr Donnelly said: "The evidence shows that vaccination is the best way to protect both mother and baby from serious harm from Covid-19 and I am pleased to announce that Covid-19 vaccination will be available at all stages of pregnancy.
NIAC's updated advice also recommends an extended primary vaccination course with an mRNA vaccine for immunocompromised individuals aged 12 years and older, regardless of whether the initial Covid-19 vaccine they received was an mRNA or an adenoviral vector vaccine.
The third dose of an mRNA vaccine should be given a minimum of two months after the last dose of the primary vaccination schedule.
Mr Donnelly said: "Since the very beginning of this pandemic, we have worked to protect those most at high risk from severe illness and death from Covid-19.
"I will now work with my department, the HSE and the High Level Task Force to implement these recommendations as soon as possible.
"As we move into this new stage of the pandemic, it is more important than ever that all of those eligible for vaccination but who remain unvaccinated or partially vaccinated, should initiate/complete their vaccination course.
"Vaccination, along with our continued adherence to the public health advice we are all so familiar with are the best ways we can protect ourselves, our loves ones and our country's re-opening."