Several updates to the state’s vaccination programme, including that mRNA vaccines can be given to pregnant women at any stage of their pregnancy, has been issued.
The former advice was that pregnant women be offered mRNA shots at between 14-36 weeks’ gestation, but NIAC has modified their recomendations.
It’s also emerhed today that Covid-19 booster shots are to be offered to immunocompromised people aged 12 and over.
The Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly issued a statement.
“The evidence shows that vaccination is the best way to protect both mother and baby from serious harm from Covid-19 and I am pleased to today announce that Covid-19 vaccination will be available at all stages of pregnancy.”
“I am aware that many pregnant people and their partners will have questions about this update to the vaccination programme, and I encourage anyone who has any concerns to engage with their obstetric care team and the many trusted sources of information available in order to make the best decision for you and your baby.”
The changes, follow recommendations made by the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) and endorsed by chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan.
The advice says a third dose of an mRNA vaccine should be given to immunocompromised people aged over 12 at least two months after they received their last dose.
Minister Donnelly said the he hoped that having a chance to receive a booster dose would bring “comfort and reassurance” to people that vaccines are very safe and effective and offer protection from Covid-19.
A further 1,789 cases of Covid-19 were reported in the State on Wednesday evening. According to the latest figures, there are 360 patients in hospital with the disease including 56 people being treated in intensive care.
Taosieach Micheál Martin earlier said the Government had received the go ahead for a Covid-19 vaccine booster campaign for immunosuppressed people, and that extra shots were also likely to be given to nursing homes residents and the over 70s “subject to advice”.