THE HSE has opened an online self-schedule to allow people to make their own appointments for a Covid-19 booster vaccine at a number of vaccination centers.
The scheduling system, similar to the one currently used to book PCR tests, will offer more than 3,000 individual appointments starting tomorrow morning.
Meetings are available at Croke Park in Dublin, the National Show Center in Swords, Co Dublin, the Astro Active Center in Enniscorthy, Co Wexford and Scoil Carmel in Limerick, which starts Thursday morning.
People can benefit from the booster in a vaccination center using self-planning if they are:
- 40 years and over
- pregnant and aged 30 and over
- live in a retirement home or long-term care facility
- a healthcare worker aged 30 and over
- 30 years of age or older and have an underlying disease
Appointments are only available for people 30 years of age or older as the first clinics will use the Moderna / Spikevax vaccine.
The HSE said the results of the initial deployment will inform continued use of the planner across a wider range of centers over the next week.
He said he would continue to operate a combination of clinics throughout the Covid-19 recall program.
“We will still have walk-in clinics and clinics with scheduled appointments, in addition to these new self-scheduled clinics,” he said.
“We hope this new option will allow people to benefit from the booster dose as soon as possible, in order to better protect themselves, their families and their communities from serious illnesses caused by Covid-19. “
The online self-planner is available on the HSE website.
It comes after Health Minister Stephen Donnelly announced that those who are fully vaccinated and have had a breakthrough Covid infection will be eligible for a booster after three months, up from six months.
This decision follows a recommendation from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NIAC) to the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) and was approved by the Minister of Health.
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In a statement tonight, Donnelly said the Department of Health and HSE will now work to operationalize the change.
The minister called it an “important step” given the current epidemiological situation.
“I welcome this update to our booster vaccination program. As with the schedule update I announced last week, decreasing the interval for booster doses in those who have had a breakthrough infection is an important step given the current epidemiological situation of the Ireland, ”he said.
“The emergence of Omicron prompted this amendment, in particular the significant concerns we have about the risk of re-infection which is estimated to be approximately five times higher with Omicron compared to the Delta strain.”
Tonight, public health officials confirmed 5,279 new cases of Covid-19 in Ireland. As of 8 a.m. today, 443 patients are hospitalized with the virus, including 102 in intensive care.