Tánaiste Leo Varadkar says a fourth vaccine dose may be required 1 year ago

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar says a fourth vaccine dose may be required

118 patients are currently in ICU in relation to Covid-19.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has said that the public may require a fourth dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, with many people yet to receive the third 'booster' vaccine that is currently being rolled out.


Speaking during Leaders' Questions at Dáil Éireann on Wednesday, the Tánaiste pointed to the rise of the Omicron variant amidst the current steady rise of Covid cases throughout Ireland.

On Wednesday evening, the Department of Health confirmed 4,152 new cases of the virus.

543 patients are currently hospitalised in relation to Covid-19, of whom 118 are in ICU.

To date, there has been a total of 5,788 deaths related to the virus in Ireland.


"It does seem that the existing vaccines are effective against Omicron when it comes to severe disease and death, if not protecting against contracting illness and being unwell," noted Tánaiste Varadkar.

"That's why I would encourage people to get their third dose, and it’s why I will get my third dose whenever I'm asked to come and get it.

"If and when a new vaccine or a vaccine-tweak for Omicron is ready, of course we'll make that available," he continued.

"But we don't know when that is yet. It's likely to be three months or more. In the meantime I think it's advisable that people get the third dose and then they may well then get a fourth dose later down the line, because the evidence from Israel is that unfortunately, immunity wanes from third dose as well."


Varadkar's comments follow on from Taoiseach Micheál Martin signalling his preference to retain Ireland's voluntary approach to vaccination rather than introduce a mandatory policy.

The Taoiseach's stance was made clear as several European countries enter debates over whether or not to follow Austria's recent lead and make Covid-19 vaccines mandatory for all citizens.

On Tuesday, World Health Organisation Europe director Hans Kluge said that a mandatory vaccination system represents an "absolute last resort".

Featured Image of Leo Varadkar via Sam Boal / RollingNews.ie