Health Minister of Ireland announces updates to vaccine programme

Aneela SiddiquiWeb Editor

03rd Sep, 2021. 01:15 pm

Several updates to vaccination programme of Ireland have been announced by Stephen Donnelly.

Pregnant women may be provided mRNA Covid-19 vaccination at any time of their pregnancy after discussing the benefits and risks with their doctor.

The updates were issued by the Minister of Health in response to recommendations from the National Immunization Advisory Committee (NIAC) to the Chief Medical Officer (CMO).

These proposals have also been endorsed by the CMO. In addition, regardless of whether the initial COVID-19 vaccine was effective, the NIAC now recommends a longer primary vaccination course with an mRNA vaccine for immunocompromised people aged 12 and older.

The third dose of an mRNA vaccine should be given at least two months following the  last dose of the primary vaccination schedule. In April of this year, NIAC suggested that pregnant women be provided mRNA COVID-19 vaccination between 14 and 36 weeks of pregnancy.

In a statement released this evening, health authorities said: “NIAC has updated this recommendation based on the growing body of evidence on the safety and effectiveness of Covid-19 vaccination. The evidence clearly indicates that the benefits of vaccination outweigh any known or potential risks of Covid-19 vaccination during pregnancy.”

The statement also adds: “The NIAC has recommended that pregnant women and adolescents from 12 years of age should be offered mRNA Covid-19 vaccination at any stage of pregnancy following an individual benefit/risk discussion with their obstetric caregiver.”

Speaking about this change to Ireland’s vaccination policy, Minister Donnelly said: “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.”

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