“Better decision” to open booster vaccinations for over 40-year-olds, despite the increasing number of participants – HSE vaccination leading – Die Welt

The country’s vaccination program leader has confirmed that over 1.5 million people have received booster Covid-19 vaccines since the program began.

We said an increase in attendance was expected in order to open the booster program to the over 40s, but it was the best decision.

Damien McCallion – who also heads the Covid-19 testing program – said over 300,000 people received their “extra dose” in the past seven days.

The refresher campaign for people in the 40-49 age group started yesterday, causing long delays in vaccination centers across the country, with some centers even being forced to deport people.

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Dublin’s Citywest opened at 8:30 a.m., but at 10 a.m. HSE announced that walk-in capacity had been reached.

There have been reports of other centers temporarily turning people away, although the queues in some places were rated as moderate.

In his speech this morning, Mr McCallion said the HSE was aware that opening up the booster campaign to those over 40 would lead to an increase, but overall it was the best decision.

“One of the things we noticed over the weekend was that our capacities were not being used to full capacity, and we decided to involve the over 40s earlier than planned in order to generate this demand for our centers,” he told Morning Ireland by RTÉ.

“That is a population group of just under half a million. So we knew we were going to see an increase, but we felt it was a better choice to make sure more people were vaccinated, that capacity was used and that the number of vaccinations was increased for Christmas, ”he added added.

Mr McCallion said the HSE provides live updates on its Twitter page and works with the media to provide information on queues at vaccination centers at peak times.

For people who are now eligible for boosters but also have concerns about using the walk-in system, McCallion said appointments can still be made through the HSE.

“A very important point that needs to be conveyed is that we continue to offer appointments through our vaccination centers and general practitioners’ practices. I know that some people may be scared of walk-ins – it may not suit them if they are medically at risk or older – and then we would encourage people to use the walk-ins if they can too planned, or even to contact the pharmacy to make an appointment, ”he explained.

Mr. McCallion confirmed that over 8,500 people are booked for vaccination appointments at the Citywest Dublin site today. He said people should “put a booster at the top of your list of things for the next few weeks”.

Mr McCallion said that while HSE has not set a specific target for how many people it wants to fund by the end of the year, the goal is that everyone over 50, the medically vulnerable, healthcare workers and long-term care residents will either be vaccinated, offered an appointment or had “sufficient opportunity” to visit a walk-in clinic or pharmacy until January.

Walk-in refresher clinics are currently open to people over 40 years of age, medical staff, and the medically vulnerable.

Mr McCallion said the reasons walk-in centers are not open to everyone is because certain groups still have priority and they are worked through “one at a time”.

Regarding the country’s Covid-19 test system, McCallion said the HSE can now process 250,000 PCR and 100,000 antigen tests per week.

He said the capacity of the system is still increasing, but cautioned that the usefulness of the contact tracing system will be diminished as the Omicron variant spreads across the community.

“The value of the contact tracing dose diminishes somewhat when you get into the scenario where the disease occurs all over the community.

“We looked at this to automate the process of electronically capturing as much information as possible on the test page, and having clear prioritization rules to ensure the test systems are being used most effectively during peak hours,” he added.


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