Health

Additional COVID-19 vaccines advised for the vulnerable

Those with weak immune systems have been advised to avail of additional COVID-19 vaccines as the country continues to reopen, according to the HSE.

The Department of Public Health Mid West, the UL Hospital Group and HSE Mid West Community Healthcare are encouraging people in their regions who are immunocompromised to get themselves fully vaccinated as COVID-19 levels are set to remain high for the coming weeks.

With society returning to pre-pandemic levels of social activity, this cannot lead to risk of infection being taken any less seriously whilst the availability of first and second doses, as well as booster vaccines, are available.

According to the HSE, ‘those who are most at risk of serious illness and death are the unvaccinated, partially vaccinated, and those who have not received their booster vaccine, and in particular those who have weak immune systems.’

Nora Barry of the UL Hospitals Group, and Operations Manager of the Mid-West COVID-19 Vaccination Centres has urged those who are vulnerable to attend for booster doses, as they are so accessible at this time:

“All our vaccination centres are hosting walk-in booster vaccine clinics, which are particularly important for those who are immunocompromised and remain vulnerable to COVID-19 infection”, she stated.

The HSE have also reiterated that ‘you are not considered fully-vaccinated if you are immunocompromised and have not received an additional dose.’

Those over the age of 12 are able to get their second dose two weeks after their first, while children aged five to 11 must wait 28 days for their second. People over 16 must wait three months, at least, for their booster vaccine.

People who fall into the immunocompromised category, and have already had their additional (third) dose, and are due for a booster, will be sent out a text message from the HSE to book an appointment via www.hse.ie/book.

The dose will be available at a HSE community vaccine centre, at a hospital (if you are an inpatient), or a GP.

This third dose has been recommended for the immunocompromised by the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) and has been approved by the Europeans Medicines Agency (EMA).

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