DUBLIN, Ireland: Ireland has announced that members of the public age 60 and over may now receive Covid booster vaccinations.
Pregnant women are also eligible for a Covid booster.
Appointments for boosters can be made through the Health Service Executive.
HSE Chief Clinical Officer Dr Colm Henry asked those eligible to make appointments, saying it would provide "ongoing protection from serious illness, and increase your immunity against infection from Covid-19, which we know tends to reduce after a period of months following your last vaccine," as quoted by RTE.
He noted that there is a waning of immunity against infection from Covid-19 over time.
Henry also said new types of vaccines will become available in the future.
"They're being assessed by the European Medicines Agency, who will assess all available evidence before informing us and other member states whether or not they are safe and effective to be rolled out," he said.
"But for the time being, we're using the existing vaccine stock, which we know to have efficacy against even the most recent variant."
Henry also said there has been a slowdown among those receiving their second vaccinations. Statistics show only 60 percent of the public over 65 has received a second vaccination.
Henry noted that members of the public aged 50-64, and others with long-term health conditions, will become eligible for booster vaccines within weeks.
HSE National Lead for the Covid-19 Vaccine Programme Eileen Whelan added,
"We are inviting people initially in blocks of five years, starting with people aged 60-64, to ensure people have a smooth experience booking appointments online and getting their vaccine."