- 18 Jan 23
Due to the recent upsurge of COVID 19 cases, the HSE has made an increased effort in encouraging those who have not yet received the COVID vaccine or booster to immediately do so if eligible.
There has been an apparent lack of people receiving the second booster dose, with only 31 percent of the Irish public receiving the latest vaccine. This statistic, however, is too low to provide sufficient public health protection as the HSE says 75 percent of vaccine coverage is needed to supply this protection.
This does not account for the fact that much of the public has contracted Covid in the last number of weeks and months, which means they have temporary immunity and do not necessarily require the booster until around six months post infection.
Eileen Whelan, the National Lead for the COVID-19 Vaccination Programme, announced that the stunted level of vaccine intake has not only increased the potential rise of the population becoming sick again but also the possible impact of the Kraken variant.
Health professionals identified the strain first in the United States, cautioning the public to be extra tentative as the variant is highly transmissible. The first cases are already being identified in Ireland.
This has caused a country-wide need to take action in order to prepare for its arrival, urging those who are eligible in registering for their second booster dose should do so as soon as possible in order to decrease the likelihood for it to become a dominant variant in the coming weeks.
Those who register for the new second booster will receive the new adaptive vaccine, which provides “broader protection than the original vaccine”.
Whelan has also urged those in the 50 to 64 demographic, where uptake is at 42 percent, to come forward, in addition to healthcare workers.
All adults across the country are eligible to register via the HSE website, once it has been six months since previous Covid-19 vaccination or infection.
Those aged 65 and over or aged 12 and over with a weak immune system can register for their third booster, also on hse.ie