Healthcare Workers to Receive Vaccine Booster “As Soon as Possible”

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Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly says healthcare workers will be offered a booster dose of the COVID vaccine "as soon as possible."

The booster will be administered to those who received their vaccination more than five months ago.

Any healthcare workers that contract the virus will have to wait until six months after recovery to receive the booster. With infections rising in recent weeks among nurses and midwives, the booster programme will be required to run until next April at the earliest.

There are currently approximately 3,500 healthcare workers out of work with COVID related conditions.

The boosters will begin to be rolled out from this weekend.

"Our frontline healthcare workers have been at the cold face of this pandemic for almost two years, caring for those most vulnerable and making extraordinary personal sacrifices," Donnelly said. "It is important that we remember that vaccination, along with our continued adherence to the public health advice we are all so familiar with are the best ways we can protect each other."

"We know that vaccination is very successful at preventing severe illness and hospitalisation," said Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan. "We also know that even when vaccinated we still need to maintain other basic public health interventions – washing our hands, opening windows, wearing masks and most importantly, staying home when we have symptoms. These simple measures have shown themselves right through the pandemic to be very successful at breaking the chains of transmission of this disease."

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