Vaccines for COVID-19

Introduction

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

Every resident in Ireland is eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

To get a vaccine appointment you can:

The COVID-19 vaccination 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 vaccines from the Health Service Executive (HSE).

Who can get a COVID-19 vaccine?

Everyone aged 5 and over can get a COVID-19 vaccine.

You can register your child for a vaccine now if they are aged 5 to 15.

Children aged 5 to 11 cannot get vaccinated at a walk-in vaccination clinic or pharmacy.

If a vaccinator is told that one parent or guardian does not consent to the child being vaccinated, the vaccine should not be given. Read information from the HSE to help you decide about vaccination for your child.

If you were vaccinated outside Ireland

You are considered fully vaccinated if you have been vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine that is recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO) or approved by the:

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.

Booster vaccine dose

You can get a booster dose now if you are aged 16 or over.

You do not need to register for a booster vaccine dose. You should wait at least 3 months after your first round of COVID-19 vaccination.

If you had COVID-19 since you were vaccinated, you should wait at least 3 months to get your booster dose after your positive test result. Fill in an online form to postpone your appointment.

If you were vaccinated in another country, you can phone HSELive on 1800 700 700 to get a booster appointment.

Where to get a booster dose

To get a booster dose, you can:

Some GPs are also vaccinating their patients.

If you are living in long-term residential care, you will be vaccinated where you live.

If you are aged 70 or over and not living in residential care, you'll be invited for your vaccine by your GP. Some GPs will refer patients to a vaccination centre.

Weak immune system

If you have a weak immune system, you should have been offered an additional vaccine dose.

Walk-in vaccination clinics

Walk-in booster clinics are available in most vaccination centres. You should check which walk-in clinic is open for your age group.

Some walk-in clinics also offer a first or second dose of a Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for people aged 12 and over. Children aged 12 to 15 must attend with their parent or guardian.

Dose 2 walk-in clinic

You can go to any dose 2 walk-in clinic as long as your vaccination is due and you have proof of your first dose, for example, your vaccination record card. It does not matter where you had your first dose, even if you were vaccinated in another country.

If your first vaccine dose was an AstraZeneca vaccine, you can choose to get a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine as your second dose in a walk-in vaccination clinic. This will mean that you are fully vaccinated.

Going to a walk-in vaccination or booster clinic

You can attend a walk-in clinic if they are open for your age group. You need to bring your:

  • Photo ID that shows your date of birth (for example, a passport, driving licence or Garda Age Card)
  • PPS number (if you have one)
  • Mobile number
  • Email address
  • Eircode
  • Proof of your first dose (if attending for dose 2 vaccination)

If you do not have a PPS number, you can still get vaccinated. You will need to bring proof of address.

If you have already registered online and are waiting on an appointment for your first vaccine dose in a vaccination centre, you can go to a walk-in clinic instead.

If you get your first vaccine dose in a walk-in clinic, you will get a text message with appointment details for your second dose at a vaccination centre nearer your home. Or you can go to a dose 2 walk-in clinic when they are open.

How to register online for a COVID-19 vaccine

To register online for an appointment in a vaccination centre, you need:

  • Your PPS number
  • Your Eircode
  • A mobile phone number
  • An email address

If you do not have any of these or you are unable to register online, you can register by phoning the COVID-19 helpline on 1800 700 700.

Enter your name as it appears on your passport so your EU Digital COVID Certificate matches your travel documents.

Parents or guardians of 5 to 15 year olds can register for their children online or by phone. If you are registering more than one child, you can bring them to the same appointment time, even if their appointments are on different days.

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

If you are deaf or hard-of-hearing, you can text HSELive on 086 1800 661 to register for your vaccination.

The HSE have a guide for online registration and a video explaining how to register online.

You cannot register online if you are based outside of Ireland or the UK. You need to call the COVID-19 helpline on +353 1 240 8787 to register.

You will get your appointment details by text message 3 to 7 days before your appointment.

What if I cancel or miss a vaccine appointment?

If you cannot attend your vaccine appointment, reply to your appointment text with the word ‘New’. You will get another text with your new appointment. You can only reschedule your appointment twice.

If you miss an appointment, you will automatically be given a new one. If you miss 3 appointments, you will not automatically get any more appointments. You will need to call HSELive on Freephone 1800 700 700 to ask for a new appointment.

If you got a booster appointment and want to cancel it to go to a walk-in clinic or pharmacy, reply to the text with the word 'REJECT.'

When am I fully vaccinated?

You are fully vaccinated:

After I am fully vaccinated

If you are fully vaccinated, you can get an EU Digital COVID Certificate (DCC). You can also get an updated certificate if you have had a booster dose.

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 and arrange a test.

Read about what you should do if you are a close contact.

Priority groups

People who are most at risk from COVID-19 were vaccinated first.

If you cannot leave your home for medical reasons, your GP can arrange a home vaccination or booster dose. If you do not have a GP, call the COVID-19 helpline for advice.

If you are pregnant, your maternity hospital will contact you about your COVID-19 vaccine or booster dose. You can also talk to your obstetrician, midwife or GP about a vaccine or booster appointment. The HSE have videos in different languages on COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy.

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.

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.

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

Page edited: 17 January 2022