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Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly Alamy Stock Photo
Stephen Donnelly

New round of Covid and flu vaccines to roll out at the start of October, minister says

The newest round of vaccines will come online on 2 October.

A NEW ROUND of Covid-19 and flu vaccinations is to begin at the start of October, minister for health Stephen Donnelly has said. 

Donnelly said that both vaccines would be free for all eligible people. The newest round of vaccinations will come online on 2 October. 

“Right now we’re taking delivery in Ireland of the very latest Covid vaccines,” he said. 

“The programme will be open in the first week of October, so very shortly, and I would encourage everyone who’s eligible, including obviously our healthcare workers, to avail of both the Covid and the flu vaccines.”  

Speaking in New York while attending this week’s UN summit, Donnelly said he had had discussions with WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and Irish epidemiologist Dr Mike Ryan “to discuss the future of pandemic preparedness, both Ireland’s role in ensuring a strong global response as well as our own domestic role.” 

“One of the things obviously we were discussing was what more Ireland can do to protect ourselves in the event of a future pandemic,” Donnelly said. 

“Obviously what we’re doing this winter is a very comprehensive vaccine programme, both the flu and Covid vaccines for all eligible people.” 

People eligible for a Covid booster include those aged 50 or over, aged 5 or older with a weak immune system and those aged between 5 and 49 with a condition that puts them at high risk or serious illness from Covid-19. Healthcare workers are also included. 

The US government announced this week that it will re-launch a programme to provide free Covid-19 home tests to Americans. Donnelly said the Irish government will not be making such provisions, stating that the advice from the chief medical officer is that anyone who has symptoms should stay at home until the symptoms subside. 

With reporting by Political Correspondent Christina Finn in New York

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