500,000 Bivalent COVID-19 Booster Vaccines Administered
The Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly has announced that more than 500,000 bivalent COVID-19 vaccines have been administered since these vaccines were introduced on 3 October.
In total, 725,000 primary and booster vaccine doses have been administered since 15 August, when the 2nd booster programme was expanded to the over-50s, healthcare workers and the clinically vulnerable.
Almost three-quarters (74%) of doses are being administered by GPs and pharmacies participating in the Winter programme. Adapted bivalent COVID-19 vaccines include components of the original virus strain and the Omicron variant. They are now preferentially recommended for all those eligible for a booster vaccination.
Minister Donnelly said, “we have reached a significant milestone in our efforts to ensure we are prepared for a winter wave of COVID-19, with bivalent booster doses exceeding half a million. Ireland should be very proud of its vaccination programme and I’m particularly pleased that we have been able to secure supplies of the most up-to-date vaccines, adapted for the Omicron variant, through our participation in the EU’s COVID-19 Vaccination Strategy.”
“I am encouraging everyone who is eligible to please make an appointment to receive your booster and maximise your protection this winter. You can also arrange to receive your ‘flu jab at the same time. And remember, it’s not too late to receive your primary course of COVID-19 vaccinations. Each week, hundreds of people who were previously unvaccinated are coming forward to receive their primary doses, with a further 687 getting their primary jabs last week. I urge everyone to take the opportunity to top up their protection and help us keep on top of COVID-19.”