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Booster jabs set to be offered to children aged 12 to 15

The NIAC recommendations were made to the chief medical officer, who also backed the change.

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A mother takes her daughters into a vaccination centre (Liam McBurney/PA)

A mother takes her daughters into a vaccination centre (Liam McBurney/PA)

A mother takes her daughters into a vaccination centre (Liam McBurney/PA)

Booster jabs will be offered to all children aged 12 to 15, the Health Minister has said.

Stephen Donnelly said on Monday that he had accepted recommendations from the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) that would see a booster dose of the Covid-19 vaccine extended to children aged between 12 and 15.

These doses will be given six months after a child has received their second jab.

The NIAC recommendations were made to the chief medical officer, who backed the change.

Mr Donnelly, in a statement, said that the benefits of vaccination were “clear”.

“However, the reduction in rate of infection is important as Ireland removes some of the last public health restrictions in place,” he said.

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“Covid-19 vaccines continue to prove remarkably effective and so it is really important that anyone yet to receive any course of Covid-19 vaccine does so as soon as possible, including those aged five to 11 years who are eligible to receive a Pfizer vaccine.”

The leaders of the three coalition parties in the Irish Government on Monday discussed proposals to end the rules on mandatory mask-wearing.

It came ahead of a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, at which ministers are expected to formally accept the advice from health officials.

Taoiseach Micheal Martin confirmed last Friday that the Government would be accepting the guidance from the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) that will bring an end to mandatory mask wearing.

Chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan has recommended an end to the mandatory wearing of masks, but they will be advisory in healthcare settings and on public transport.

The changes are expected to come into place on February 28.

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Eamon Ryan, Micheal Martin and Leo Varadkar at a press conference earlier this year (Niall Carson/PA)

Eamon Ryan, Micheal Martin and Leo Varadkar at a press conference earlier this year (Niall Carson/PA)

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Eamon Ryan, Micheal Martin and Leo Varadkar at a press conference earlier this year (Niall Carson/PA)

In his letter to Mr Donnelly, Dr Holohan said: “Nphet concluded that there is no longer a continuing public health rationale for retaining them and advised that the following measures could be removed with effect from February 28 as planned.

“Mandatory mask wearing in areas where it is currently regulated for, including: public transport, taxis, retail and other indoor public settings, and staff in hospitality settings.

“Public health measures in early learning settings, school-aged childcare, primary and secondary schools, including physical distancing measures such as pods, and mask wearing.”

Mr Donnelly is expected to bring a proposal to Cabinet on Tuesday.


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