HEALTH MINISTER STEPHEN DONNELLY said he would like to see the green light given to recalls for healthcare workers.
Donnelly said there was “a strong case” for giving reminders to healthcare workers, saying he wrote to the National Immunization Advisory Committee (NIAC) about it.
âI think we’ve been served very well by NIAC and I think one of the reasons we have one of the highest vaccine uptake rates in Ireland is because people, rightly so, trust expert advice and they know we follow that expert advice. ,” he said.
Alan Kelly of Labor today urged the Taoiseach to give frontline workers a timetable as to when such a decision would be made.
Speaking in the DÃ¡il, the Taoiseach said that when it comes to vaccines, the government takes clinical advice and expert advice.
Health experts are convinced that there are benefits to giving a booster vaccine to people over 60, he said, adding that the issue of health workers would remain under investigation.
“This is where right now lies I understand the concerns that exist with regard to healthcare workers,” he said, acknowledging that the government also has concerns.
“I recognize that the experts are the ones who have tried and trusted the experience in administering vaccines, and this is an issue that will be kept under review,” he added.
It was confirmed yesterday that booster shots will be offered to people over 60 years old.
The Minister of Health confirmed today that administration of the recall to the 800,000 6-79 group will begin “imminently”.
The HSE is developing a “blueprint” for the recall program, with the minister saying that while he could not give an exact start date, he wants it to start “as soon as possible”.
Yesterday, Labor’s Ged Nash asked if those over 60 will have to wait several months to receive their booster shot.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) said booster doses “can be considered at least 6 months after the second dose for people aged 18 and over.”
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âAt the national level, public health agencies can issue formal recommendations on the use of booster doses, taking into account emerging efficacy data and limited safety data. The risk of inflammatory heart disease or other very rare side effects after a booster is not known and is closely monitored. As with all medicines, the EMA will continue to review all data on the safety and efficacy of the vaccine, âhe said.