Wednesday, 3 November 2021
Department of Health
148. To ask the Minister for Health if he has been advised of the categories of patient who should be offered a booster vaccine for Covid-19; the way it is planned to put together a list of all those who fall into this category; if general practitioners will be contacted to submit those eligible; if not, if patients should themselves register; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53455/21]
On 8 September, I announced an update to the Covid-19 vaccination programme following advice from the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC).
The NIAC has recommended a booster dose of an mRNA vaccine (irrespective of whether the primary vaccination course was of an mRNA or adenoviral vector) for residents aged 65 years and older living in Long Term Residential Care Facilities and for those aged 80 years and older living in the community. The booster dose can be given after a minimum interval of six months following completion of the primary vaccination schedule. I have accepted this advice and the HSE has made the necessary arrangements to operationalise these recommendations with the booster rollout now underway.
The NIAC has also recommended that a booster dose of Pfizer/BioNTech should be offered to all those aged 60-79 who have completed their primary vaccination course with any Covid-19 vaccination. The booster dose should be ideally given six months following completion of the primary vaccination schedule (with a minimum interval of five months).
On 1 November the NIAC recommended that a booster dose of an mRNA vaccine (irrespective of whether the primary vaccination course was of an mRNA or adenoviral vector) be offered to healthcare workers. The booster dose should be ideally given six months following completion of the primary vaccination schedule (with a minimum interval of five months).
The NIAC continues to examine emerging evidence regarding booster vaccines for those with waning immunity and reduced effectiveness in other groups, such as those with co-morbidities (under 60 years of age) and will make further recommendations if required.
As the Health Service Executive has responsibility for the rollout of the immunisation programme, I have asked them to reply directly to the Deputy.