Covid-19 booster programme opens to all aged 16 and over

·2-min read
Queues of people form outside a walk-in vaccination centre in Co Wicklow (Damien Storan/PA) (PA Wire)
Queues of people form outside a walk-in vaccination centre in Co Wicklow (Damien Storan/PA) (PA Wire)

Anyone aged 16 and over can now come forward for a Covid-19 booster jab.

From Sunday all of those aged 16 and older who are eligible to receive a booster vaccine can access the service through HSE vaccination centres.

People are being asked to book into a vaccination centre offering jabs to their age group.

On Sunday, Health Minister Stephen Donnelly said that the country begins 2022 in a “stronger position thanks to vaccines and effective new treatments”.

“Our case numbers are high and concerning, but good to see the rate of hospitalisations has fallen dramatically compared to this time last year,” he tweeted.

Mr Donnelly said that the Government had “invested a lot in building capacity”.

He said: “More ICU beds will open this year and I brought a proposal to Cabinet to increase overall critical care capacity to 446 beds. Our legacy deficit is being addressed and we are funding as many ICU beds as the HSE can open.”

Ireland has experienced record case numbers in recent days, sparked by the spread of the Omicron variant.

On Sunday, a further 17,071 cases of the virus were confirmed in Ireland.

There are 717 Covid-positive patients in hospital, of whom 87 are in intensive care.

HSE chief executive Paul Reid tweeted on Sunday: “Early days yet, but let’s all hope and plan that with the great efforts of the public, our testers and tracers, vaccination teams and all healthcare professionals will mean that at some stage we can all look back on Omicron.”

He added: “We’re not there yet but these actions will benefit.”

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