Second COVID-19 booster vaccine offered to all 18-49 year olds

  • All adults are now eligible for a second COVID-19 vaccine booster
  • Boosters give protection against serious illness and increase your immunity to COVID-19

From today (Thursday, 29th December), the HSE is inviting people aged 18-49 years to make an appointment for their second COVID-19 booster dose at www.hse.ie, with appointments available from today.

Eileen Whelan, National Lead, COVID-19 Vaccination Programme, HSE said: “We are putting the most recent vaccine advice from NIAC (National Immunisation Advisory Committee) into action and inviting everyone aged 18-49 for their second booster, once it is 6 months since their last vaccine or since they have had a COVID-19 infection. I encourage everyone to get their second booster dose. It will give ongoing protection from serious illness, and increase your immunity against infection from COVID-19, which we know tends to reduce after a period of months following your last vaccine.”

Dr Colm Henry, HSE Chief Clinical Officer, said today: “We continue to be very concerned about the steep rise in cases of COVID-19, influenza and other respiratory illness at this time. Our GPs and hospitals are working hard to support people, but we have seen a more than 100% increase in cases of flu, and people needing hospital admission for flu. In the week ending on December 24th, we had 2,329 flu cases reported, compared to 1,174 the previous week. People needing hospital admission for flu jumped to 637, from 299 the previous week. COVID-19 cases increased to 3,809, compared to 3,118 the previous week, with 737 people in hospital with COVID-19.

Dr Henry emphasised that, “getting a vaccine, whether it’s your next COVID-19 booster, or a flu vaccine if you or your children are due to get it, can really help to protect you, the people around you, and our health services. Since flu season can last for 12 weeks or more - it’s not too late to do that now.”

Vaccines take 14 days to be effective. The new adapted vaccines will be provided as a booster vaccine for this group. You can book a booster appointment online at HSE vaccination clinics on www.hse.ie. Booster vaccines may also be available at participating pharmacies and GPs.

While some people in the 18-49 years age group may have already received their second booster if they are a healthcare worker or have had an underlying health condition, the HSE also strongly urges people who have not yet received a COVID-19 booster vaccine to check their vaccine status and to do so as soon as possible. You can do this by contacting HSELive on 1800 700 700.

The HSE will be active over the next few weeks in our services, in the media and online, encouraging people to come forward for these and all other relevant COVID-19 vaccines.

Last updated on: 29 / 12 / 2022