Sunday, January 02, 2022

The Covid-19 vaccine booster programme is open to all remaining cohorts of the population aged 16 and over from this morning (Sunday).

As of today, people aged between 16 and 29 who have already completed their primary course of Covid vaccination can apply for a booster shot through the HSE’s online portal.

The opening of the booster programme to the 16-29 age group comes slightly ahead of schedule, with the HSE having announced the changes to its programme on Friday amid a steep rise in Covid cases being driven by the Omicron variant.

People in the 16–29 age cohort can now book their booster in one of the HSE mass vaccination clinics, where they will receive a single dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.

In the week since Christmas Day, more than 120,000 people have recorded a positive PCR test for Covid, a higher figure than was reported through the entirety of 2020.

Under the new testing guidelines released on Friday, people aged between 4 and 39 presenting with symptoms of the virus are being asked to take regular antigens tests. Only if the antigen tests return a positive result should they seek a PCR test. The change in approach is aimed at easing pressure on the HSE’s testing system, which is dealing with unprecedented demand in the wake of the Omicron wave of the virus.

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