Booster vaccine rollout for over-60s to begin in November

More than 100,000 boosters have been administered so far
Booster vaccine rollout for over-60s to begin in November

The health service will begin giving booster vaccines to more than 800,000 people aged between 60 and 80 at the start of November.

Most over-70s are likely to be given boosters in their local GP surgery, while those aged between 60 and 70 are likely to get them in mass vaccination centres, according to The Irish Times.

Officials are currently working on the details of the rollout of the boosters, which was approved by the Cabinet on Tuesday. They say that with two million doses of the Pfizer vaccine in stock, supply is not an issue.

However, some people in this age cohort will have to wait for the vaccine, as six months will have to have elapsed since they received their second, regular dose of Covid-19 vaccine.

Up until now, boosters have been provided to three groups only: over-80s, people in residential care aged over 65 and those who may be immunocompromised. So far, more than 100,000 boosters have been administered.

The HSE says it plans to complete the administration of boosters to residents of nursing home and other residential centres by the end of next week.

It says it will take about 10 days for the latest Government decision on boosters to be operationalised. More than 182,000 people are aged 80 and over, and 345,000 are in the 70-79 age group. A further 479,000 people are aged between 60 and 69.

Healthcare workers

No decision has been reached yet by the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (Niac) on a booster jab for healthcare workers.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said on Tuesday that the issue is being kept under review by Niac but the Government considers it an urgent matter.

The Taoiseach was speaking after the announcement on Tuesday that the next phase of reopening would go ahead but with some restrictions maintained into the new year as concerns grow over the rising number of Covid-19 cases.

There were 2,399 new cases reported by the Department of Health on Tuesday, the highest daily total since January.

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