Second booster vaccine approved for people aged 65 and over, along with immunocompromised groups

The Ministry of Health has announced that a second Covid-19 booster vaccine will be offered to people over the age of 65 and to immunocompromised groups.

It comes as last night the National Immunization Advisory Committee (NIAC) made the recommendation to Chief Medical Officer Dr. Tony uttered Holohan.

NIAC has recommended a second mRNA booster (fourth dose) for all individuals age 65 and older.

It has also been recommended that those aged 12 and over who are immunocompromised receive a second booster shot – fifth dose – and immunocompromised individuals aged five to 11 should take an extended basic course; a total of three vaccine doses.

Health Secretary Stephen Donnelly approved the recommendation after consulting the CMO

He said work is ongoing between the department and the HSE on the mid-term Covid-19 vaccination strategy.

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NIAC has reiterated its previous recommendation that pregnant women and adolescents 12 years and older should be offered primary and booster mRNA vaccination at all stages of pregnancy.

The Committee also reiterated the importance of children and adolescents aged 12 to 15 years and older completing their primary series and receiving a booster dose, while children and adolescents aged five to 11 years should receive a two-dose primary series .

NIAC continues to recommend that people receive and complete their initial vaccination course and booster vaccination if they have not already done so, “regardless of a history of previous Covid-19 infection.”

Mr Donnelly said the vaccines had had “extraordinary success” in preventing serious illness, hospitalizations and deaths.

“These vaccines continue to have a very good safety profile, with hundreds of millions of doses administered worldwide,” he said.

“Those who are unvaccinated or incompletely vaccinated continue to be disproportionately affected, accounting for about a third of Covid-19 hospital admissions.

“As such, I urge anyone who has had an additional dose of vaccine recommended, or who has not yet received a primary or booster vaccine, to do so as soon as possible.

“I have asked NIAC to continue to actively review the evidence on the likely benefit of a second booster dose for other groups, vaccine choice and interval in order to make further recommendations in this regard.”

Speaking on RTÉ radio, Minister Donnelly said that “ideally” there would be a gap of six months between booster doses, but in certain circumstances four months could be enough. Second booster vaccine approved for people aged 65 and over, along with immunocompromised groups

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