Brendan Smith welcomes approval of second Covid-19 booster vaccination recommendation

Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan and Monaghan, Brendan Smith has urged those aged 65 years and older and those immunocompromised to avail of a second booster dose of Covid-19 vaccination following its recommendation by the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) and approval by Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly.

Deputy Brendan Smith commented, “I welcome today’s update to Ireland’s vaccination programme. Covid-19 vaccines have achieved extraordinary success in preventing severe disease, hospitalisation and death. These vaccines continue to have a very good safety profile with hundreds of millions of doses administered globally.

“Those who are unvaccinated or incompletely vaccinated continue to be disproportionately affected and account for approximately a third of hospitalisations for COVID-19. As such, I urge anyone for whom an additional dose of vaccine has been recommended, or anyone yet to receive their primary course or booster vaccine do so as soon as possible.”

Work has been ongoing between the Department and the HSE regarding the COVID-19 mid-term vaccination strategy. The recommendations made last night by the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) to the Chief Medical Officer (CMO), who has endorsed these recommendations, will greatly assist in informing and guiding the operational planning required for the COVID-19 immunisation programme.

  • NIAC has recommended a second mRNA booster (fourth dose) for all those aged 65 years and older 
  • NIAC has also recommended that those aged 12 years and older, who are immunocompromised, receive a second booster (fifth dose), and, 
  • Those who are immunocompromised aged 5-11 years should complete an extended primary course (total of three vaccine doses).

In addition, NIAC has highlighted the importance of: 

·        NIAC has reiterated its previous recommendation that pregnant women and adolescents from 12 years of age should be offered mRNA COVID-19 primary and booster vaccination at any stage of pregnancy.

NIAC has also underscored the importance of children and adolescents aged 12 years-15 years and older completing their primary course and receiving a booster dose, while those aged 5-11 years should complete a primary course of two doses. 

  • NIAC continue to recommend that people get and complete their primary vaccine course and booster shot if they haven’t already done so. This is irrespective of a history of a previous COVID-19 infection.

NIAC have also pointed out the importance of building in flexibility and responsiveness to the COVID-19 vaccination programme to allow for a rapid and dynamic response to changes in viral transmission and disease severity.

The Department of Health and the HSE will now work to operationalise these updates.