Search icon


21st Jun 2021

WHO says annual booster Covid-19 vaccine likely to be introduced in Ireland

Clara Kelly

pfizer vaccine

“That’s going to become part of the new way in which we’ll keep ourselves safe in the face of the Covid threat.”

The World Health Organisation (WHO) special envoy on Covid-19 Dr David Nabarro has said that Ireland will likely introduce annual booster vaccines to “keep safe in the face of the Covid-19 threat.”

“Now, looking at it from the perspective of Ireland, I think it’s pretty likely that there will be a need for booster sessions, possibly adapted to whichever variants are moving around,” told RTÉ radio’s Today with Claire Byrne on Monday.

“That’s going to become part of our constant readiness to deal with Covid-19, possibly annually, perhaps, less often.

“That’s going to become part of the new way in which we’ll keep ourselves safe in the face of the Covid-19 threat.”

When asked if the booster vaccines would be given to everyone, Dr Nabarro said that this has yet “to be decided”.

“Who knows Claire, you often ask me these questions and I think I know a little bit about how you [Ireland] work, so I’m going to say, to be decided,” he said.

Dr Nabarro said that he believes that Ireland is “well served” by the advice of public health officials such as Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr Tony Holohan.

“Tony Holohan is such a cool guy, I like the way he and his team and then all of the people at county level are working,” he added.

The WHO Doctor also said that he believes employers need to be “working with the reality” of many people not being ready to get vaccinated against the virus ahead of the return to offices.

Dr Nabarro said that building “acceptance” will be key, adding that people should “not shame and ridicule people” based on their beliefs in regards to vaccination.

He said that it will be necessary “to welcome diverse points of view”, however, there are “certain professions where it will be challenging”.

Dr Nabarro added that in these professions some “extra precautions” such as mask-wearing may be needed for those who have opted not to receive a Covid-19 vaccine.

LISTEN: You Must Be Jokin’ with Aideen McQueen – Faith healers, Coolock craic and Gigging as Gaeilge