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Stay at home – level 5 restrictions are in place nationwide. Get the latest advice about COVID-19

Overview

AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccines are the most effective way to prevent infectious diseases. They prepare your immune system (your body's natural defences) to recognise and defend itself against a specific virus.

The use of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine has been restarted after a temporary pause. The AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective.

Go to your appointment if this vaccine is offered to you.

Read more about the restart of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccinations

Doses

You will need 2 doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

You should get your second dose 12 weeks after your first dose.

Read about how long it takes to work

Immunity

Vaccines teach your immune system how to protect you from diseases.

It is much safer for your immune system to learn how to protect you from COVID-19 through vaccination than by catching the virus.

Read more about immunity after the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

Safety

The AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine was developed in line with international standards of safety.

It has been tested with thousands of people as part of clinical trials.

Read more about the safety of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

Side effects

Like all medicines, vaccines can cause side effects. Most of these are mild to moderate and short-term.

Not everyone gets side effects.

Read more about side effects after the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

Which vaccine is best

All vaccines are tested for safety and effectiveness before they can be used. The HSE only uses a vaccine if it meets the required standards of safety and effectiveness.

You should get any vaccine that is offered to you.

Read more about COVID-19 vaccine development

If you are pregnant

There’s no evidence that COVID-19 vaccination is unsafe if you’re pregnant. Being vaccinated will reduce the chance of you becoming very unwell.

The information we have so far shows that the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine does not have any negative effect on babies in the womb.

Read more about COVID-19 vaccines in pregnancy

If you are breastfeeding

There is no known reason to avoid breastfeeding if you are vaccinated.

If very small parts of the vaccine get into your breast milk, they will be digested in your baby’s stomach.

Read more about COVID-19 vaccines if you are breastfeeding

This content was fact checked by vaccine experts working in Ireland

Last updated: 29 March 2021 at 12pm