Vaccines adapted to Covid variants to be rolled out as part of booster programme 2 months ago

Vaccines adapted to Covid variants to be rolled out as part of booster programme

Doses of the new vaccines have already been delivered to Ireland.

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly has announced that vaccines adapted to Covid-19 variants will be introduced to Ireland's booster programme from next month.

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This comes after the Health Minister accepted new recommendations regarding the use of adapted bivalent vaccines from the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC), which interim Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Professor Breda Smyth endorsed.

NIAC recommended authorised adapted bivalent vaccines - which include components of the original virus strain and the Omicron variant - for all those aged 12 years and older eligible for a booster vaccination.

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First booster doses continue to be offered to all people 12 and above and to 5 to 11-year-olds with a weak immune system who have yet to receive one.

Meanwhile, a second booster is being offered to people who are:

  • Aged 50 to 64
  • 12 or older with a condition that puts them at high risk of serious illness from Covid
  • Pregnant (from 16 weeks)
  • Healthcare workers
  • 12 or older living in a long-term care facility

If you have not already had your second booster, you can still get one if you are aged:

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  • 65 or older
  • 12 or older with a weak immune system

In a statement, Donnelly said the development of these vaccines represents "an important new step" in Ireland's approach to combatting Covid and that they will play a significant role in the country’s vaccination campaign throughout autumn and winter.

"Officials in my department have secured access to adapted bivalent vaccines through participation (in partnership with the European Commission and other Member States), in the EU’s Covid-19 Vaccination Strategy," he added.

"Doses of bivalent adapted vaccines have already been delivered to Ireland thanks to provisions of Purchase Agreements negotiated by the Commission as part of the EU’s Covid-19 Strategy."

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The HSE will include adapted bivalent booster vaccines in its vaccination progamme from early October.

Main image via Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie