1. Efforts to increase primary and booster vaccination uptake remain a public health priority. Original mRNA vaccines (Comirnaty and Spikevax) are the recommended vaccines for the primary vaccination course.

2. Those who are due booster vaccination should receive an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. Timely booster vaccination, regardless of the vaccine used, is the most important factor in sustaining protection, particularly for those at risk of more severe disease.

3. Authorised bivalent mRNA vaccines are preferentially recommended for all those aged 12 years and older eligible for a booster vaccination.

4. An interval of four to six months is recommended from the time of the last COVID-19 vaccine or confirmed SARS-COV-2 infection. In exceptional circumstances an interval of three months may be used (e.g., in a person scheduled to commence chemotherapy). Giving booster vaccination just before or at the beginning of high viral circulation (e.g., autumn/winter) is desirable.

5. The bivalent mRNA booster vaccines should be given as follows: a) Bivalent BA.1 vaccines • aged 12-29 years: Comirnaty Original/ Omicron BA.1 (0.3ml/30 mcg) • aged 30 years and older: Comirnaty Original/ Omicron BA.1 (0.3ml/30 mcg) or Spikevax bivalent Original/Omicron BA.1 (0.5ml/50 mcg) b) Comirnaty Original/ Omicron BA.4-5 vaccine • aged 12 years and older: Comirnaty Original/ Omicron BA.4-5 (0.3ml/30 mcg).

6. Booster vaccination may be given at the same time as influenza vaccine, with one vaccine administered in each arm.

7. If bivalent vaccine supplies are limited, priority should be given to the following groups to maintain high levels of immunity in those most at risk of severe disease:

  • those aged 65 years and older
  • those aged 12 years and older with immunocompromise associated with a sub optimal response to vaccines at the time of their primary or booster vaccination
  • those with underlying medical conditions with a higher risk of severe COVID-19
  • those who are pregnant, at 16 weeks gestation or later, and who have not received a booster vaccine in the current pregnancy.

8. Those for whom a bivalent mRNA vaccine is contraindicated or declined should be offered an alternative vaccine.

These recommendations reflect a dynamic vaccination programme. Scientific evidence is emerging and being refined. Recommendations may be updated when more information becomes available. There is significant uncertainty regarding the emergence and nature of futur

  • Recommendation
  • Europe
  • Ireland
  • COVID-19