The Government is “very eager” to move ahead with boosters for people over the age of 40 before the New Year, Higher Education Minister Simon Harris has said.
His comments come as the Department of Health has confirmed 4,667 new cases of Covid-19.
Four additional cases of Omicron have been detected bringing the total number of cases to 10.
As of 8am, there are 504 Covid patients in hospital, up 23 on yesterday.
Of those who are in hospital with the virus, 109 are in ICU.
Mr Harris said that an update on the rollout of the Covid booster vaccine is due to be published this week, which will see younger ages receive a third vaccine sooner than expected.
“We should boost the booster campaign and everything that possibly can be done to achieve that will be done,” said Mr Harris.
“We’re on target to have 1.5m people receive their booster by Christmas. This week we’ll see an updated roadmap on boosters published by the Department of Health.”
Race against variant
He said that Government is now in a race to get as many people vaccinated to protect against the Omicron variant and said the revised plan will amount to a “very significant development”.
Asked if boosters could be rolled out for people over 40 and for children between the ages of five and 12 between Christmas and the New Year, Mr Harris said: “I think we’re very eager to move ahead with people over the age of 40.”
He said that everyone who is eligible for a booster vaccine will receive an appointment for one, and the walk-in centres are an “additional way” of administering as many jabs as possible.
“We are opening all channels to try and get people vaccines,” he told RTÉ’s The W