Over 50s to be included in booster programme

People over 50 are expected to be included in an expanded Covid-19 booster programme.

It’s among the measures set to be considered at Cabinet this morning, as the government seeks to address rising infection rates.

622 people are in hospital and 117 in ICU’s, and new NPHET modelling has warned up to 500 could need critical care by next month, in a worst-case scenario.

Ministers will also consider new advice on working from home, the wider use of antigen tests, and covid certs for gyms, hairdressers and barbers this morning.

But Consultant in Infectious Diseases in Beaumont Hospital, Dr Eoghan DeBarra, doesn’t think expanding certs to these settings will have a big impact.

“I think gyms represent a relatively high risk environment, and some people would be regular gym attenders.

“But I think in terms of the overall slice of the pie in cases it’s not clear to me that they’re the biggest yield area, and I think hairdressers and beauticians by and large my impression is that they wouldn’t be areas of high transmission.

“However I presume my colleagues in public health would have closer data on that to be able to inform those decisions.”


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