Vaccines for COVID-19

Introduction

COVID-19 vaccines are medicines that should give you protection from serious illness with COVID-19. They help your body to defend itself against the virus.

When you are given a vaccine, this is called vaccination. The HSE has general information on vaccines and vaccination in Ireland.

The COVID-19 vaccine is free of charge. You cannot get it privately.

A number of COVID-19 vaccines have been approved for use in Ireland. You can get more information on the safety and side-effects of vaccines from the Health Service Executive (HSE).

Which COVID-19 vaccine dose or booster dose should I get?

Many of the vaccines are given in 2 or 3 separate doses, a few weeks apart. This is called the first round of vaccination. You can get a booster dose after your first round of vaccinations are complete.

How to get a COVID-19 vaccine or booster

When to get COVID-19 boosters

A first booster is recommended for everyone aged 18 and over. After this, spring and autumn boosters are recommended for some people.

If you had COVID-19, you need to wait 4 -8 weeks (depending on your age) before getting a COVID-19 vaccine or booster dose.

You can check the date of your last vaccination on your digital COVID certificate.

Weak immune system (immunocompromised)

If you have a weak immune system, you may be offered an additional vaccine dose. You can read more about the additional COVID-19 vaccine dose and when you need to get it.

COVID-19 vaccine and booster for children

If your child is under 4, get their routine childhood vaccines before getting their COVID-19 vaccination.

Children aged 6 months to 4 years should wait 14 days after getting another vaccine before getting a COVID-19 vaccine.

Booking your child’s COVID-19 vaccine or booster

If you have more than one child getting a vaccine or booster dose, book an appointment for each child. Your vaccination centre will have separate appointment slots and walk-in clinics for different age groups.

If your child recently had COVID-19, you must delay getting the COVID-19 vaccine. You can check the length of wait between having COVID-19 and booking your child's next vaccine or booster as this depends on their age.

Parental consent

Children under 16 must attend their appointment with their parent or legal guardian to give consent for each dose.

If a vaccinator is told that one parent or guardian does not consent to the child getting a vaccine or booster dose, the vaccine or booster dose should not be given.

You can read information from the HSE to help you decide about vaccination for your child.

Children with additional needs

If your child has additional needs, you can call HSELive on Freephone 1800 700 700 to arrange:

  • More time at their appointment
  • A quieter appointment time with fewer people

You can check what to bring for your child’s vaccination and the recommended dose for your child.

Pregnancy and COVID-19 vaccine

You can get a COVID-19 vaccine and booster during pregnancy, if you are trying for a baby and while you are breastfeeding.

Going to a walk-in vaccination or booster clinic

Check what you need to bring to the vaccination clinic.

If you do not have a PPS number, you can still get vaccinated.

What if I cancel or miss a vaccine appointment?

If you got a vaccine appointment and want to cancel it use the link in the appointment text message.

After getting a COVID-19 vaccination or booster

After you get a COVID-19 vaccination or booster, the HSE will still give you evidence of your COVID-19 vaccination.

After you are vaccinated, you should continue to follow public health advice on how to stop the spread of COVID-19 in public places. For example, social distancing, wearing a face covering and washing your hands properly.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19 you should self-isolate.

If you were vaccinated outside Ireland

If you got your first vaccine dose in another country, you can get your second dose in Ireland.

You need to show evidence of your first vaccine dose in another country. If your vaccine is not approved by the FDA or MHRA, or recommended by the WHO, you will be offered a full course of a European Medicines Agency (EMA) approved vaccine in Ireland.

Further information

Read more information about the COVID-19 vaccine on the HSE website.

If you are a deaf Irish Sign Language user and you need an interpreter to talk to a HSE COVID-19 helpline agent, you can use the Irish Remote Interpreting Service (IRIS). Irish Sign Language (ISL) videos explaining the COVID-19 vaccine are available on the HSE website.

You can read information and watch videos in different languages on COVID-19 and the different vaccines on the HSE website.

Page edited: 13 December 2023