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Booster interval for people who have had Covid to be cut from six months to three months

The Covid-19 booster vaccine rollout is being accelerated due to the Omicron variant.

FULLY VACCINATED PERSONS who have had a breakthrough Covid-19 infection will be able to avail of a booster after three months, down from six months. 

The change applies to people who are in a group that has been approved for a booster, such as all over 40s. 

The move comes about following a recommendation from the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) to the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) and has been endorsed by Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly. 

A breakthrough infection occurs when someone tests positive for Covid-19 despite having completed a primary course of a Covid-19 vaccination. For people who have not had Covid, the interval is already three months. 

In a statement this evening, Donnelly has said that Department of Health and the HSE will now work on operationalising the change. 

The minister described it as “an important step” given the current epidemiological situation.  

“I welcome this update to our booster vaccination programme. As with the update to the programme I announced last week, decreasing the interval for booster doses in those who have had a breakthrough infection is an important step given Ireland’s current epidemiological situation,” he said.  

The emergence of Omicron has prompted this amendment, specifically the significant concerns we have about the risk of re-infection which is estimated to be approximately five-fold higher with Omicron compared to the Delta strain.

The cut in the interval between primary course and the booster only applies if the person is in a group that has currently been approved for a booster. 

  • People can avail of the booster if the are:
  • aged 40 and older
  • pregnant and aged 30 and over
  • living in a nursing home or a long-term healthcare facility
  • healthcare worker aged 30 and over

Separately, the HSE has also launched a new website for people who are eligible for a booster to book them online for a small number of clinics. 

The four centres are Croke Park and the National Show Centre in Dublin as well as Scoil Carmel in Limerick and Astro Active Centre in Wexford. 

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