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Leah Farrell
paul reid

Roll out of Covid-19 booster jabs to start next week, HSE CEO says

Reid said contact would be made with people who are deemed at the highest risk.

THE ROLLOUT OF the Covid-19 vaccine booster programme for vulnerable people will get underway from next week, HSE chief Paul Reid has confirmed.

Reid said the programme will run for an estimated five to six weeks, with the first appointments to be issued by the HSE next Wednesday.

“First of all what we’ve had to do is work with NIAC(National Immunisation Advisory Committee), who set out the early recommendations and classification, and our clinical teams have been engaged with them to get greater clarity,” Reid told Morning Ireland.

“Our intention is to commence the process later next week, probably by Wednesday, to start making appointments.

“Then probably by Friday of next week people will start to get appointments coming through.

“If people are not contacted, it most likely is an indication that they’re not in that higher risk category.”

He said it will include people who are highly immunocompromised, organ recipients, renal patients, certain cancer patients, and people on particular medications.

He said the identification process is complex and “not a simple list we can take off a shelf”.

“The parameters will simply be who are the people who do not have the immunity offered by two doses…so it will be guided by our clinical teams.”

He added that people will “most likely” be directed to a vaccination centre for their third jab, while in certain cases GPs will be tasked with administering the booster shot.

The booster dose can be given after an interval of six months after the primary vaccination course was completed.

NIAC recommended that a booster vaccine dose against Covid-19 be given to over 65s living in residential care and anyone over the age of 80, earlier this month. That advice was extended to immunocompromised people aged 12 and over.

NIAC recommended a booster dose of an mRNA vaccine for the two groups, even if their first vaccine was an adeno-viral vector like AstraZeneca.

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly said the HSE is “working really well” to identify and contact the immunocompromised people eligible for the booster.

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