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GPs to receive Covid booster vaccines at end of the month

GPs are to begin receiving Covid-19 booster vaccines for the over 80s from 27 September,  the IMO has told members. 

In an update to GPs on 14 September on influenza flu vaccine arrangements, the Organisation said further details about the Covid-19 booster programme would be released to GPs in the coming days. 

Influenza vaccines will start being delivered from 20 September. The IMO urged GPs to complete vaccine orders no later than 20 September. 

Influenza vaccine uptake in 2020/2021 season was 71 per cent, the IMO said, adding that “there are sufficient stocks to meet this uptake” for the coming season. Around 1.4 million influenza vaccine doses have been sourced by the HSE, it is understood. 

Three separate influenza vaccines protecting individuals against four virus strains will be delivered in Ireland this winter, each one targeted at certain age groups and illness cohorts.

Under the national programme, all persons aged 65 and over are eligible to receive the vaccine, as well as children aged two to 17. 

Healthcare workers, out of home care givers, household contacts of people with underlying condition or Down Syndrome, residents of nursing homes and long stay facilities, and patients aged 6-23 months and 18-64 with an increased risk of flu-related complications are also eligible to receive the vaccine. 

Speaking to the Medical Independent, IMO GP Chairman Dr Denis McCauley said GPs would begin administering the influenza vaccine to patients at surgeries and in nursing homes and residential care centres from September. 

He confirmed that GPs would shortly begin administering Covid-19 vaccine booster doses to patients aged over 90 from the end of the month. 

No decision has been announced on whether or not booster vaccines will be given to other cohorts this winter, but many expect that the programme will be extended to further age groups. 

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