Cork doctor: 'If you want to protect yourself and loved ones at Christmas, get the booster'

Cork doctor: 'If you want to protect yourself and loved ones at Christmas, get the booster'

Dr Nuala O’Connor ICGP Lead Covid-19. Photograph: Leon Farrell / Photocall Ireland

Dr Nuala O’Connor of Elmwood Medical Practice in Frankfield and Clinical Lead on Covid-19 for the Irish College of General Practitioners (ICGP) has said that the booster is “a vital way” of protecting people against Covid-19.

Her comments come after Taoiseach Micheál Martin said he did not intend to blame people for not showing up to vaccine booster appointments, but rather show there is not the same public urgency.

The Fianna Fáil leader told the Dáil on Tuesday that 215,000 appointments for Covid-19 booster shots were missed in the last two weeks.

He said that in the week beginning November 22, 208,000 appointments were made, but about 80,000 people turned up to receive their booster shot.

Last week 180,000 appointments were made, but 93,000 people turned up.

Dr O'Connor said the programme of boosters is vital as we head into Christmas.

“We are urging everyone who is eligible for booster vaccinations to prioritise them. 

"As we head into the Christmas season, we know that people will want to visit their families and friends, and having the booster vaccine means you are protecting not just yourself, but also your close family and your friends in your social circle.

TIME OFF

“Furthermore, we know more people have returned to the workplace and that they may find it a bit more difficult to get the time off to attend for their booster vaccine appointment.

“We urge employers to encourage their staff to take the time to get their booster vaccine when they are eligible for it,” she said.

Dr O’Connor reminded people that they are eligible for the booster five months after their last vaccine, and three months after a Janssen vaccine.

“You will get a text from the HSE inviting you to get the booster, either at a vaccination centre or via your local pharmacy,” she said.

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