Residents aged 65 years and older living in long term residential care facilities and people aged 80 years and older living in the community are set to receive a booster dose of an mRNA Covid-19 vaccine.

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly announced the update to Ireland's Covid-19 Vaccination Programme today.

The updates follow recommendations made by the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) to Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan, who has endorsed the recommendations.

The booster dose can be given after a minimal interval of six months following completion of the primary vaccination schedule.

In coming to their recommendations, members of NIAC considered the "emerging evidence relating to decreasing immunity, vaccine effectiveness of a booster dose against the Delta variant of Covid-19 in protecting against serious disease including hospitalisations, ICU admissions and death".

NIAC also examined all the safety data in respect of a booster dose.

"Consideration was also given to global vaccine equity and upholding the principles of minimising harm, fairness and moral equality as outlined in the National Vaccine Allocation Framework," according to a Department of Health statement.

Minister Donnelly said: "Once again this week, we have seen some of the necessary public health restrictions eased thanks to the enormous efforts the Irish people have made to continue to follow the public health advice and, in particular in relation to our amazing levels of vaccine uptake.

"Vaccination remains our pathway out of this pandemic, and as with the earlier phases of our vaccination programme, this update to the programme ensures that we continue to prioritise our most at risk loved ones from the risks posed by Covid-19."

The announcement comes as 1,545 new cases of Covid-19 were confirmed in Ireland today.