Written answers

Thursday, 18 November 2021

Department of Health

Vaccination Programme

Photo of Darren O'RourkeDarren O'Rourke (Meath East, Sinn Fein)
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302. To ask the Minister for Health the way an Irish citizen or legal permanent residents who receive their vaccine in the United States of America can get their booster shot in Ireland; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [56628/21]

Photo of Stephen DonnellyStephen Donnelly (Wicklow, Fianna Fail)
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The immunisation programme in Ireland is based on the advice of the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC). The NIAC makes recommendations on vaccination policy to my Department based on the prevalence of the relevant disease in Ireland and international best practices in relation to immunisation.

On 15 November, the NIAC recommended that a booster dose of an mRNA vaccine be offered to persons aged 16-59 years with underlying conditions, all residents in Long Term Healthcare Facilities and persons aged 50-59 years. The Chief Medical Officer has endorsed the latest NIAC recommendations and written to the HSE requesting they be operationalised as soon as possible.

The NIAC has previously recommended that a booster dose of an mRNA vaccine be offered to those aged 60 years and older and healthcare workers. The booster dose should be given after an interval of six months (or at least five months) following the last dose of any authorised COVID-19 vaccine. I have accepted this advice and the HSE has made the necessary arrangements to operationalise these recommendations with the booster rollout now underway

In line with the approach implemented for the primary vaccination programme, individuals resident in the State will be eligible to receive a booster dose of Covid-19 vaccine when deemed appropriate for their specific cohort in line with NIAC advice.

Operational responsibility for the Covid-19 vaccination programme is with the HSE any queries relating to access to a vaccine should be directed to them.

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