Ireland's Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly TD, announced several updates to Ireland's COVID-19 Vaccination Programme on October 19, 2021.
These updates follow the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) recommendation to the Chief Medical Officer.
The NIAC recommended a booster dose of the mRNA Comirnaty® (Pfizer-BioNTech) COVID-19 vaccine be offered to those aged 60 to 79 years who have completed their primary course with any COVID-19 vaccine.
The Comirnaty booster dose should ideally be given six months following the primary two or one-dose vaccination schedule.
However, if a person for whom a booster dose is recommended had a laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 infection after the primary vaccine course, known as a Breakthrough Infection, the booster dose should be delayed for at least six months.
Minister Donnelly said in a press statement, "Since Ireland's Vaccination Programme began late last year, I have announced several updates of the vaccine prioritization program, each with the same aim - to protect those most at high risk from severe illness and death from COVID-19."
"The roll-out of the booster program continues to rely on using vaccines which are safe and effective, and in doing so, means that we are continuing to prioritize our at-risk loved ones."
Ireland's actions are related to the European Medicines Agency, which concluded on October 4, 2021, that booster doses may be considered at least six months after the second dose for people aged 18 years and older. At a national level, public health bodies may issue official recommendations on the use of booster doses, taking into account emerging effectiveness data and the limited safety data.