People in 40s urged to come forward for booster jab

People in 40s urged to come forward for booster jab

People aged between 40 and 49 are being urged to come forward for their booster vaccine by the head of the HSE.

Paul Reid said those in their 40s will be able to get boosters in vaccination centres, GPs and pharmacies from Sunday.

Booster vaccinations for this age group had originally been intended to begin on December 27, but that has now been brought forward amid growing concerns about the spread of the Omicron variant of Covid-19.

It comes after Ireland’s Cabinet agreed on Friday to introduce a series of new restrictions, including an 8pm closing time for hospitality.

Ireland’s National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) had recommended a 5pm curfew on hospitality and a cap on capacity at large outdoor events of 50%, or 5,000 people.

Taoiseach Micheal Martin said Omicron is here and Ireland will see “a enormous rise in infections”.

“Left unchecked this new strain will represent a very meaningful threat to hospitals and basic care, but also a threat to all of society and the economy,” he said.

“It spreads so aggressively throughout all age groups that we are likely to see infections at a rate that is far in excess of anything we’ve seen to date.”

Chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan and Taoiseach Micheal Martin speak to the media on Friday (Julien Behal/PA)

(PA Media)

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly then announced the speeding up of the vaccination campaign.

Mr Reid tweeted on Saturday: “We’re bringing forward the 40-49 ages for booster vaccines to now commence from tomorrow.

“Please take the earliest opportunity to do so via Vaccination Centres (incl walk-ins), GPs (they will contact you) or contact your Pharmacy.”

Hospitality groups have said pubs will have to close because of the new measures and have called for an emergency sustain package.

As of Friday, 39 situations of the Omicron variant had been confirmed in Ireland, which is expected to rise severely over the coming days.

Nphet has said the Omicron variant will become the principal strain in Ireland over the next four to five days.

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