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People aged 40-49 to be offered Covid boosters from 19 December

It comes after Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said Digital Covid Certificates will be reissued in January to include booster vaccines.

Image: Sam Boal

PEOPLE AGED 40-49 will be able to receive a booster vaccination from this Sunday, the Department of Health has announced.

The HSE said yesterday that people in this age cohort would be offered Covid-19 boosters from 27 December, three weeks ahead of the original scheduled date.

However, in a further acceleration of the booster programme, Health Minister Stephen Donnelly has said that people in their 40s will be able to get a booster jab from 19 December.

Vaccination centres, GPs and pharmacies will be offering the booster from Sunday through a mixed model of appointments and walk-in clinics.

In a statement this evening, Donnelly said: “We had scheduled that booster vaccination for people in their forties would begin in the week of 27 December. This is now being brought forward to this Sunday, 19 December.

“I’ve been working with the HSE to significantly increase capacity in recent weeks, and we have witnessed significant increases in the numbers getting boosters, with over 160,000 administered in the past three days. It is welcome to see so many people presenting for a booster vaccination before Christmas.”

Full details of walk-ins at each vaccination centre are available on the HSE website. 

The announcement comes after Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said that the Digital Covid Certificates will be reissued in January. 

Speaking at a press conference this evening, Varadkar said it is “very likely” that travel within the European Union next year will require proof having received a booster vaccine.

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“At a European level, the Digital Covid Certificates are going to be reissued in the new year, and it’s very likely that in order to travel in the spring and summer, you’ll need to have the new digital Covid cert which is the evidence that you’ve been boosted,” he said.

If people are planning or looking ahead towards overseas travel within the European Union in spring or summer, you need to get this third dose.

Changes to the Digital Covid Certificate are already being discussed at European level, with proposals being put forward for a nine-month validity period since the primary vaccination. 

Currently, anyone travelling to Ireland is required to produce a negative Covid-19 test, which can be either a PCR test taken in the previous 72 hours or a professionally-administered antigen test taken in the past 48 hours.

About the author:

Jane Moore

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