The roll out of COVID-19 booster jabs for those considered high risk will commence next week, according to HSE chief Paul Reid.
The HSE will begin to issue appointments next Wednesday, September 29th, with the programme expected to run for five to six weeks.
"First of all what we’ve had to do is work with NIAC(National Immunisation Advisory Committee), who set out the early recommendations and classification, and our clinical teams have been engaged with them to get greater clarity," Reid said. "Our intention is to commence the process later next week, probably by Wednesday, to start making appointments. Then probably by Friday of next week people will start to get appointments coming through. If people are not contacted, it most likely is an indication that they’re not in that higher risk category."
Those who will receive the booster include the highly immunocompromised, organ recipients, renal patients, certain cancer patients and people on particular medications.
Reid said identifying those who require a booster is a complex process and "not a simple list we can take off a shelf."
The basic parameters will be those people "who do not have the immunity offered by two doses," according to Reid.
Most recipients of the booster will need to attend a vaccine centre, though in some cases GPs will administer the jab.
To receive a third booster dose, six months must have passed since receiving a second dose.
The HSE is "working really well" to identify and contact those who are deemed eligible for a booster, said Health Minister Stephen Donnelly.
From next week our COVID-19 vaccine programme will begin third doses for immunocompromised. College vaccination week also takes place with pop-ups in third-level college. Here's an update. #ForUsAll@roinnslainte @HSEImm @HSELive @merrionstreet pic.twitter.com/Jm2m4sCMP9— Stephen Donnelly (@DonnellyStephen) September 24, 2021