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File photo. Brian Lawless/PA
vaccine programme

Booster shots will be offered to people over 50 from tomorrow

Over one million booster doses have been administered in Ireland.

COVID-19 BOOSTER VACCINES will be available to people aged over 50 from tomorrow.

The HSE’s chief operations officer said today that people in the 50-59 age cohort will start to be offered appointments for the additional dose from tomorrow.

“We will also have walk-in centres open to people to get their vaccine and as ever we encourage everybody to avail of the vaccine,” Anne O’Connor told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland programme.

“If they turn up at a vaccination centre, they will be in the system, they will be automatically entered — we track all of the appointments.

It’s really important, especially with a new variant, that we try to protect as many people as possible.

O’Connor admitted that the booster programme has faced difficulties in “joining up the dots” between the three different channels where the jabs are available – vaccination centres, GPs and pharmacies.

Yesterday, the Taoiseach told the Dáil that more than 215,000 booster appointments were missed in the last two weeks.

Micheál Martin said 208,000 appointments were made in the week beginning 22 November 22, but about 80,000 people turned up. Last week 180,000 appointments were made, but 93,000 people turned up.

O’Connor said that some people had received their booster jab through their pharmacy and had then been allocated an appointment at a vaccination centre.

“We have challenges with the system. There is a time lag,” she noted. O’Connor urged people to cancel their appointment at a vaccination centre if they have already received their booster through their GP or pharmacy.

Two weeks ago, The Journal reported that people who had already received a booster jab were having difficulties cancelling unneeded appointments at vaccination centres.

The problem was reported for appointments at vaccine centres around Ireland and people had difficulties trying to contact the HSE online and via the phone. 

The latest vaccine stats show that over one million booster doses have been administered in Ireland. Nearly 200,000 people have received the extra shot in each of the last two weeks.

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