Covid-19 vaccine booster shots are now being administered to healthcare workers. The rollout, announced by health minister Stephen Donnelly last week, followed calls by Fórsa and other health unions to prioritise health staff amid reports that show a growing number were being infected with the virus.
The minister approved the extension of the booster programme to healthcare workers on foot of a recommendation from the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (Niac) last week.
Fórsa official Chris Cully welcomed the news. “We’re heading into the critical winter period, when additional pressure is usually placed on our healthcare system, and while Covid infection numbers remain stubbornly high.
Access to a booster vaccine will help to protect staff while providing them with additional peace of mind when they enter the workplace.
“Access to a booster vaccine will help to protect staff while providing them with additional peace of mind when they enter the workplace,” she said.
The minister tweeted: “Niac has advised that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines can be used regardless of the initial vaccine course (mRNA or adenoviral vaccine). There is evidence of waning immunity over time of increased risk of breakthrough infection, most of which is mild.”
Unions demanded that health workers would be offered the opportunity to get booster vaccines because, despite the high level of vaccination, breakthrough infection is occurring. This has led to a surge in absences among healthcare workers and the cancellation of hundreds of planned medical procedures.
Representing over 30,000 health workers including health and social care professionals, clerical, administrative, management and technical staff.
We consider it one of the many strengths of the union that our members are central to the delivery the full array of health and welfare services in Ireland. To find out more about the range of grades represented, and where they operate within those services, visit our map “At the heart of Health and Welfare.”