Vaccinations for vulnerable children aged between five and 11 will begin tomorrow.
The HSE has taken delivery of 144,000 Pfizer vaccines for children and the shots will be administered in two doses two weeks apart.
“The most effective thing we can do [in the face of Omicron] is the early childhood vaccination,” Taoiseach Micheál Martin told Newstalk.
“Which is commencing on 20th December for high risk children and the second three categories of high risk; those themselves who would be immunosuppressed or have underlying conditions, those who are living with siblings with such conditions and those living with adults [with such conditions]. So they’ll be the first priority.
“The programme for all children then commences on 10th January.”
An Taoiseach added that the booster campaign was being “rolled out at speed”; 250,000 Irish people received their boosters between 13th and 17th December and over 40s are eligible to book their top up shot from today.
🧵Here are today's walk-in #COVIDVaccine clinics. We're operating some walk-in clinics for dose 1 and dose 2, and booster vaccines for healthcare workers and people aged over 40. #ForUsAll
⤵️ Keep an eye for updates on queueing times throughout the day. pic.twitter.com/S0QVXUhONH
— HSE Ireland (@HSELive) December 19, 2021
“We’ll be continuing all the way through Christmas,” HSE CEO Paul Reid said.
“Vaccination centres won’t be open on Christmas day or Stephen’s Day but they’ll be working right throughout Christmas and the New Year period overall. So we expect to see the campaign continuing well.”
Niamh Donoghue, clinical lead at the National Show Centre in Swords, Dublin, said that it had been “all hands on deck” over the weekend:
“[Today] is walk ins and we’re delighted to announce that we’re going to be introducing the walk ins for the 40 plus cohorts - that’s the 40 to 49 which hasn’t been open to date.
“So that’s going to start in the morning, so we expect to be busy and we would encourage people to come and get their vaccination this side of Christmas.”
Main image: A child in New York receives his COVID vaccine. Picture by: Anthony Behar/Sipa USA