Up to one million booster injections for Covid are to be distributed in an autumn/winter rollout.
Plans for the rollout are at an early stage.
The National Immunisation Advisory Committee (Niac), has advised that healthcare workers, those over 80, residents of care facilities aged 65 and above, and those with certain medical conditions associated with suboptimal responses to the vaccines should be first for boosters.
Those aged 60 to 79 and people at risk of severe Covid are next on the list.
Chief medical officer Tony Holohan last week told the Minister for Health that these are “preliminary proposals only”, which will be updated as more information becomes available in the coming weeks.
Several outstanding issues could also impact the scope of the booster programme, including advice on mixing vaccines, the space between second and booster doses, and precise definitions of the cohorts to be targeted.
How many boosters are delivered, and to what extent the infrastructure around mass vaccination centres is retained, also has to be mapped out, reports the Irish Times.
Scenarios are also being examined whereby boosters are given more widely, roughly equivalent to the 1.5 million who receive a free winter flu shot.