The Health Minister says the latest covid projections are very stark and efforts must be made to prevent them.
New NPHET modelling has warned up to 500 people could need critical care by next month, in a worst-case scenario.
NIAC has approved extending the booster programme to those over the age of 50 and people with underlying conditions.
Speaking on his way into Cabinet in the past few minutes, Minister Stephen Donnelly says the projections are worrying.
"The modelling is very stark, and it would show that if we did nothing, if we continue as is we could be looking at somewhere between 200-500 people in ICU.
"Obviously that's not something we can countenance.
"We'd be looking at over 1,000-2,000 in hospital, and a very high number of cases."