HSE to step up booster jab roll-out amid threat of new variant

HSE to step up booster jab roll-out amid threat of new variant
© REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

The roll-out of booster vaccines will be stepped up amid fears the new potentially highly infectious Covid-19 variant will spread to this country soon.

There are concerns the newly classified variant of concern may leave people at increased risk of reinfection.

It comes as Ireland is still battling the more immediate threat of the Delta surge that has sent cases of the virus soaring.

The new variant, named Omicron, appears to be increasing in all provinces in South Africa and has been found in Belgium.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) warned that “this variant has a large number of mutations, some of which are concerning”.

“Preliminary evidence suggests an increased risk of reinfection with this variant as compared with other variants of concern,” it said.

Screening for the variant is to get under way at the National Virus Reference Laboratory in Ireland in a bid to detect any cases, targeting confirmed cases with a particular travel history.

The European Centre for Disease Control in a threat assessment last night called on countries to consider boosters for all adults, prioritising the over-40s.

The HSE is set to roll out up to 220,000 booster shots and third vaccines next week in a bid to curb waning immunity.

Everyone over 16 who is at least five months fully jabbed is to be offered a booster shot following new recommendations yesterday.

People who got the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be offered a booster after three months.

A spokesman for the HSE said: “Next week we expect to do well over 200,000 booster and additional doses, and probably 220,000”.

He also confirmed the contract to use the Aviva stadium in Dublin as a vaccination centre had come to an end and the HSE believed it had sufficient capacity in the region with five other settings, including Croke Park.

The aim is to scale up the roll-out to 270,000 shots a week but it still falls short of the 300,000 vaccines a week the HSE delivered during the summer.

Meanwhile, Health Minister Stephen Donnelly said last night parents should follow the recommendations of the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) and keep children away from indoor gatherings such as playdates and birthday parties and not be involved in nativity plays.

Formal advice on these restrictions is expected to be issued next week.

The advice was for the next two weeks and followed the high levels of infection in five to 12-year-olds, who have the highest incidence of the virus, he added.

The Cabinet is expected to give the go-ahead to Nphet’s recommendation that mask wearing for children aged nine and over be mandated on public transport and in shops.

It also said primary school children should wear face masks from third class up.

In his letter to Mr Donnelly, chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan said schools and childcare facilities needed to continue to operate.

“We are currently experiencing very high incidence in children aged five to 12 years of age, and as such, it is important to take steps to interrupt chains of transmission to protect those core priorities,” he said.

It comes as some parents of primary pupils may not send them to school if they have to wear a mask, according to the National Parents’ Council Primary (NPC). The council has received more calls on this than any other issue, with at least 1,300 logged by mid-afternoon yesterday, according to NPC CEO Áine Lynch.

“No-one rang to say they were happy; they were all saying they were very upset, very concerned,” said Ms Lynch.

Ms Lynch said a recommendation or advice on mask wearing for children was one thing “but a situation that takes choice away from parents would be a problem”.

She said they would “hate to see that, after working so long to keep schools open, something would happen that would create a situation where parents would feel that they didn’t want to send their children to school”.

It comes as another 4,620 new cases of the virus were reported yesterday.

There were 571 Covid-19 patients in hospital, of whom 118 were in intensive care.

In his letter following the Nphet meeting, Dr Holohan said Ireland remains vulnerable to a further deterioration in the disease profile depending on a number of factors, including levels of social contact in the coming weeks and over the festive period, adherence to basic public health protective measures and levels of immunity across the population.

He said that deaths per day were increasing very slowly at roughly seven, or 200 deaths per month.

“This may increase, given the very high case counts, though booster vaccination in older persons may mitigate against this,” he said.

“There continues to be a significant number of outbreaks reported in settings with vulnerable populations.”

Anyone who may have been in contact with a person who has COVID-19, is advised to contact HSE Live via 1850 24 1850 or on the HSE website here

If you are unwell with a cough, especially with respiratory symptoms (e.g. cough, high temperature, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, fever) you should isolate yourself immediately and phone your GP

If you have a COVID-19 related travel query, you can call the dedicated advice centre on (01)613 1733.

Follow the government’s latest travel advice here

News Related

OTHER NEWS

Christian Eriksen expected to sign for Brentford in the next 72 hours

Christian Eriksen is expected to complete a sensational return to the Premier League and sign for Brentford in the next three days, according to reports. The former Tottenham midfielder has ... Read more »

The night Lesley Manville tackled a gaggle of rowdy teens at theatre

She is well known for her presence on stage but Lesley Manville can also make her mark as a member of an audience – as a group of rowdy teenagers ... Read more »

Dune's Denis Villeneuve Provides An Update On The Sequel

© Provided by CinemaBlend Timothee Chalamet and Rebecca Ferguson in Dune No one would blame Denis Villeneuve if he wanted to take a step back and relish in Dune’s momentous ... Read more »

MI6 uncovered plot to install a pro-Moscow puppet leader in Ukraine

British intelligence has discovered a plan by Russian President Vladimir Putin to install a pro-Moscow puppet leader in Ukraine, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss revealed yesterday. As Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky ... Read more »

Light rainfall lashes parts of Delhi-NCR on Sunday morning, IMD predicts more showers

© Provided by Zee News New Delhi: Delhi continued to receive light rainfall on Sunday (January 23, 2022) as the Met department expected that the minimum temperature is likely to ... Read more »

Full dress rehearsal for Republic Day 2022: Traffic advisory issued by Delhi Police, check blocked routes here

© Provided by DNA According to the traffic advisory, the full-dress rehearsal for R-Day parade will start from Vijay Chowk and will proceed to National Stadium According to a traffic advisory ... Read more »

Former Trump campaign adviser acknowledges being part of 2020 'alternate electors' plot

Boris Epshteyn, an adviser for former President Donald Trump’s 2020 presidential campaign, acknowledged Friday that he was part of the effort to prop up so-called “alternate electors” to support Trump ... Read more »

Petrol, diesel prices today: Rates unchanged on 23 January, check here what you need to pay in your city

© Provided by Firstpost Petrol, diesel prices today: Rates unchanged on 23 January, check here what you need to pay in your city Petrol and diesel prices remained unchanged in ... Read more »

'Public spirited' persons outraged selectively over Tripura violence: State to SC

© Provided by The Times of India NEW DELHI: The BJP-ruled Tripura government on Saturday told the Supreme Court that the so-called public spirited persons are setting a dangerous precedent ... Read more »

Edu gifted perfect chance to sign Portugal star in cut-price Arsenal deal amid contract standoff

Arsenal are on red alert after it has emerged that their transfer target Renato Sanches has reportedly confirmed he is ready to leave Lille. According to SportItalia, the French champions ... Read more »

Bakers seek increase in bread prices amid spike in flour cost

Bakers seek increase in bread prices amid spike in flour cost If flour prices continue to spike, bakers may have no other choice but to likewise increase bread prices. According ... Read more »

A new law lets Illinois homeowners remove racist language from deeds, including clauses saying a house can never be sold to Black or Jewish people

© JHU Sheridan Libraries/Gado/Getty Images A 1910 image of the Roland Park/Guilford neighborhood of Baltimore. The neighborhood was segregated, and is considered an early example of the enforcement of racial ... Read more »

Quezon City warns vs counterfeit vax cards

© The STAR/Michael Varcas, file Quezon City warns vs counterfeit vax cards MANILA, Philippines — The Quezon City government has issued a warning against people who sell and use fake ... Read more »

New Zealand adds new COVID restrictions as omicron spreads

The Associated PressNew Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaks about the COVID-19 situation while visiting New Plymouth on Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022. New Zealand is among the few remaining countries ... Read more »

Queensland reports 10 COVID deaths, 11,947 new cases on Sunday

Queensland has recorded 10 more deaths from COVID-19 and 11,947 new infections, Health Minister Yvette D’Ath says. There were 863 people in hospital with COVID across the state as of ... Read more »

Everything We Know About HBO’s The Last Of Us TV Show

Movies based on video games don’t have the best track record, but TV shows based on video games still have a relatively clean slate. There’s an endless number of video ... Read more »

Uttarakhand Elections 2022: Cong releases first list of 53 candidate; name of Harish Rawat missing

© Provided by Jagran English Dehradun | Jagran Politics Desk: A month before the polling, the Congress on Saturday night released its first list of 53 candidates for the crucial ... Read more »

Covid jabs to be commercially available by 2023

VACCINE czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said that coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccines might become commercially available in the Philippines by 2023, noting the government would continue providing it for free ... Read more »

German navy chief resigns over 'Putin deserves respect' remark

The head of Germany’s navy has resigned following controversial remarks on the crisis in Ukraine, a defence ministry spokesman said on Saturday. Kay-Achim Schoenbach said the idea that Russia wanted ... Read more »

ICICI Bank Q3 profit rises 25%

Private-sector lender ICICI Bank on Saturday reported a 25.4% year-on-year (y-o-y) rise in standalone net profit to Rs 6,193.81 crore in the December quarter of FY22 on the back of ... Read more »

PAN Card Update: Here's how you can change your last name online on your PAN Card

© Provided by DNA PAN card or Permanent Account Number is the most essential document for all types of financial transactions. It comes with a 10 digit alphanumeric PAN number. ... Read more »

Nets' James Harden says he's ‘definitely back' to the player he was

MINNEAPOLIS — Is the Beard back? Maybe James Harden was sparked by the defense Friday night, or perhaps he was just unusually springy at San Antonio. But he says it’s ... Read more »

Tory MP says fines for minor lockdown breaches should be REFUNDED

Fines dished out for minor breaches of lockdown laws should be refunded because they were a ‘huge imposition on personal freedoms,’ a Tory MP has suggested. Andrew Percy is calling ... Read more »

Donald Trump slams Jan. 6 panel after Ivanka Trump interview request: 'They'll go after children'

© Associated Press/Ross D. Franklin Former President Donald Trump speaks at a rally, Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022, in Florence, Ariz. Former President Donald Trump slammed the Jan. 6 committee investigating ... Read more »

Joe Burrow Shares Evan McPherson's Instantly Iconic Quote Before Kicking Walk-Off Field Goal

© Provided by Sports Illustrated Even Joe Burrow was in awe of an ice-cold Evan McPherson when he took the field to send Cincinnati to the AFC Championship. View the ... Read more »

New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern cancels wedding plans due to Omicron surge

© Andy Jackson/Getty Images Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand has canceled her wedding due to Omicron concerns. New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Sunday revealed she has ... Read more »

Fourth-quarter decisions burn Mike Vrabel, Titans in AFC divisional playoff loss to Bengals

© Provided by Sporting News Mike Vrabel is one of the NFL’s best head coaches, but his Titans, the No. 1 seed in the 2022 AFC playoffs, were upset by the Bengals on ... Read more »

Stuck at the US-Mexican border, two migrants find solace in love

© HERIKA MARTINEZ Migrants cross the Rio Grande river from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico in December 2021 to seek US political asylum As they linger, trapped at the US-Mexico border, the ... Read more »

The Shady Site That Shows Anti-Vaxxers Will Believe Anything

© Provided by The Daily Beast Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast/Getty Last month, a British man launched a site allowing visitors to type in COVID-19 vaccine lot numbers, ... Read more »

Book Cornwall summer holidays NOW says tourist boss – or risk missing out

BRITS who want a Cornwall holiday with friends and family this summer are being urged to book it now. Visit Cornwall boss Malcom Bell warned anyone planning to visit the ... Read more »

Ministry of Defence squanders £64million of taxpayer's cash in admin errors

DEFENCE penpushers squandered £64million of taxpayers’ cash in admin errors, a report reveals. It is enough to pay for veterans’ mental health support for three years. The Ministry of Defence ... Read more »

Riot Games suing Imba Games over TFT lookalike I Am Hero

Ahead of the launch of Teamfight Tactics: Neon Nights, Riot Games is suing a company named Imba Games for allegedly infringing on copyrights related to TFT. Fans have remarked in ... Read more »

How to complete the TFT Lunar Legend Festival quests

Riot Games has introduced secret missions for the Lunar Legend Festival quests. The quests don’t immediately appear in your missions tab, so here’s a reminder of what you need to ... Read more »

PNP reports 204 new COVID-19 cases; total now 47,194

Philippine National Police building The Philippine National Police  on Sunday said 204 new COVID-19 cases were recorded among its personnel, driving up the total tally to 47,194. Of this number, ... Read more »

Ian Wright celebrates in delight as D'Margio Wright-Phillips scores

Arsenal legend Ian Wright couldn’t hide his delight after his grandson scored his first professional goal on Saturday.  D’Margio Wright-Phillips – the son of former Manchester City and Chelsea winger ... Read more »

Bella Hadid Opens Up About Why She Quit Drinking: ‘It Got To The Point Where I Wouldn't Be Able To Control Myself'

Bella Hadid committed to Dry January for the first time. In a candid new interview with InStyle, the model, 25, revealed that her doctor (and medical advisor for Kin Euphorics, her non-alcoholic ... Read more »

British cruise ships are allowed to stage weddings under new plans

Couples will soon be able to combine sun-kissed cruises on British boats with tying the knot under new ‘Brexit dividend’ plans. The Government is looking to scrap rules that allow ... Read more »

Partygate inquiry ‘may have discovered at least one gathering' in Downing Street flat

© Getty Images Boris Johnson leaves 10 Downing Street this week – Getty Images An inquiry into allegations of parties at Downing Street may have unearthed details of at least ... Read more »

Humanitarian aid tops agenda as Taliban meet Western officials

© Wakil KOHSAR Hunger now threatens 23 million Afghans, or 55 percent of the population, according to the United Nations Human rights and the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, where hunger ... Read more »

The Post says: NYC's bad old days are back if we do nothing about violence

The scene where two NYPD cops were shot, on fatally, on West 135th Street in Harlem on Jan. 21, 2022. Christopher Sadowski Will this horrible week finally break the madness ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic