NPHET should consider giving the Government advice on closing schools early for Christmas, according to an immunologist.
The body meets on Thursday to discuss the situation with Covid-19, and the possibility of fresh restrictions in the run-up to Christmas.
The latest HPSC report shows the highest incidence of Covid-19 is among primary school children
Christine Loscher, a professor of immunology at DCU - believes shutting schools on Friday, instead of next Wednesday would provide a circuit breaker among children.
She says she knows it wouldn't be a popular decision, but believes it would be worth it:
"Our key focus at the moment is managing case numbers in the face of the acceleration of Omicron, which is very highly transmissible. In light of that, and we know it's acceleration has been focus in the past 24 hours.
"We're likely to see dominance in the next week to 10 days, and in light of that the sensible thing to do would be to take an unvaccinated cohort of children who are mixing all the time, and highly exposed.
"Take them out a little earlier, from this Friday. They would be losing two and a half days next week. But I really think it would help us get on the front foot. It will help us minimise mixing of large numbers of unvaccinated children before Christmas."
NPHET is expected to advise the Government on new restrictions to deal with the spread of Covid-19 and the Omicron variant which is now accounting for 11% of new cases in Ireland.
"I would really hope this would be a consideration by NPHET on Thursday," continued Professor Loscher.
"I think that, while people may not see this as a popular decision right now, it will be, I think a better alternative to any questions about not reopening the schools in January."
The Department of Education has said there are no plans to change the Christmas holidays for schools.