FROM today, children in Ireland aged 5-11 can be registered for the Covid-19 vaccine, says the HSE.
Registration for the vaccine was previously open to children in this age group if they had a health condition that put them at risk of severe illness from Covid-19.
These children will, however, remain a priority as the vaccine programme is expanded.
Children who live with a vulnerable person will also be prioritised.
The HSE's chief clinical officer, Dr Colm Henry, told RTÉ that some high-risk children had already received the vaccine in hospital.
He added that vaccines would start to be administered to the cohort within the next two weeks.
The HSE says children aged 5-11 will be offered a Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine with a smaller dose than older age groups and will require two jabs administered three weeks apart.
It adds that the immunity they get will be similar to the higher dose vaccine used in older age groups.
Yesterday, the booster programme was opened to everyone aged 16 and over, one week earlier than was originally planned.
The latest Covid-19 figures from yesterday show there were 17,071 new confirmed cases and 717 patients in hospital, of which 87 were in ICU.
Meanwhile, the government is considering reducing the isolation period for people who test positive from 10 days to five.
Green Party leader and Minister for the Environment Eamon Ryan told RTÉ News that they had been looking at similar measures introduced un the US after recommendations from the Center for Disease Control.
"I think we will and should look at that in terms of what sort of changes might help us through this particular wave," he said