Vaccines for COVID-19
COVID-19 is a serious illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It is caused by a virus called coronavirus. You can find out more about the symptoms of COVID-19 and how to protect yourself from the virus.
COVID-19 vaccines are medicines that give you protection from COVID-19. They make your body better prepared to defend itself against the virus.
A number of COVID-19 vaccines have been approved for use in Ireland. You can get more information on the vaccines from the Health Service Executive (HSE).
When you are given a vaccine, this is called vaccination. The HSE has general information on vaccines and vaccination in Ireland.
When can I get the COVID-19 vaccine?
The vaccination programme has started but it is not possible for everyone to get the vaccine at the same time. The vaccine will be made available to different groups of people at different times, depending on priority.
The groups currently getting the COVID-19 vaccine are:
- People aged 65 years and over who live in long-term care facilities
- Frontline healthcare workers
- People aged 70 and over living in the community
People aged 70 and over are being vaccinated at different stages.
If you live in a long-term care facility, you will be offered the vaccine there. If you are a healthcare worker, you will be offered the vaccine where you work or nearby.
If you are aged 70 or over, your GP will contact you when your vaccine is available. If you do not have a GP, call the COVID-19 helpline for advice.
The COVID-19 Vaccine Allocation Strategy sets out the priority groups for vaccination. The list may change as more information becomes available.
Where can I get the COVID-19 vaccine?
The HSE will let you know when you can get the vaccine.
You may receive your vaccination at a:
- Vaccination centre
- GP surgery
- Community pharmacy
Many people will be offered their COVID-19 vaccination in a vaccination centre and you will be able to register for your vaccine online.
There will be at least one vaccination centre in every county.
The COVID-19 vaccination is free of charge. You cannot get it privately.
You do not need a PPS number to get a COVID-19 vaccine.
Irish Sign Language (ISL) videos explaining the COVID-19 vaccine are available on the HSE website.
Before vaccines can be made available, they must be approved as being safe to use. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) is responsible for approving the use of COVID-19 vaccines in the European Union (EU). The EMA website shows the vaccines that have been submitted for approval and what stage of the process they are at. You can view the latest news updates from the EMA and key facts on COVID-19 vaccines.
You can keep up-to-date with the total numbers of COVID-19 vaccines given in Ireland on geohive.ie.
The National COVID-19 Vaccination Strategy (pdf) explains what needs to be done to make vaccines available and how decisions about the plan are made.
The Implementation Plan for the National COVID-19 Vaccination Programme (pdf) explains how the vaccination programme will work. It will be updated regularly as more information becomes available.