More than 3,500 healthcare workers are off work due to Covid-19.
Now Health Minister Stephen Donnelly has announced the rollout of booster vaccines for doctors, nurses and other hospital and medical workers will begin this weekend in an attempt to halt the spread of the infection among frontline staff.
In a tweet on Monday evening, Minister Donnelly confirmed that the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) has advised that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines “can be used regardless of the initial vaccine course (mRNA or adenoviral vaccine)”.
“I am advised that for under 60’s not immunocompromised, effectiveness of vaccines is sustained against serious illness, hospitalisation and ICU admission,” Donnelly added.
“However, there is evidence of waning immunity over time of increased risk of breakthrough infection, most of which is mild.”
Booster vaccines for our healthcare workers will begin to be administered within a few days. I’ve been working to ensure @HSELive were ready to roll out this extra level of protection as quickly as possible once we had the clinical advice from NIAC. pic.twitter.com/r3OLNYbFSd
— Stephen Donnelly (@DonnellyStephen) November 1, 2021
As the surge in cases continues, a further 2,855 additional cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the past 24 hours. 515 COVID-19 patients are in hospital, with 91 of those patients in intensive care (ICU).
The HSE is also offering booster vaccines to the over-60s.