How to get a COVID-19 vaccine for children

COVID-19 vaccination is available to children aged 5 to 15 to give them protection against serious COVID-19 illness.

You can book:

5 to 11 year olds

This age group will be offered a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine with a smaller dose. The immunity they get will be similar to the higher dose vaccine used in older age groups.

Parents or legal guardians of children aged 5 to 11 can choose to do one of the below:

If you have more than one child aged 5 to 11 getting vaccinated, book an appointment for each child who is getting vaccinated.

This age group cannot get vaccinated at a pharmacy.

Registering your child

You have to register your child for their COVID-19 vaccination. You only need to do this for dose 1.

You can choose to:

If you do not register online, you can register your child when you arrive at the vaccination centre. Registering in advance will speed up your appointment time.

If you cannot register online, you can also call 1800 700 700 to register by phone.

12 to 15 year olds

12 to 15 year olds can now get their first booster dose.

They can still get their dose 1 and dose 2 if they have not already.

How long to wait before getting a first booster

They need to wait 6 months after their second dose before they can get their first booster. They will not be able to get a booster unless at least 179 days have passed since their second dose.

If they had COVID-19 since their second dose, they should only get a first booster dose:

  • at least 6 months after their positive test result, or
  • at least 6 months from when their symptoms started

How to get your child vaccinated

Parents or legal guardians of children aged 12 to 15 can choose to do one of the below:

You may also be able to get your booster from your GP.

When to delay vaccine

Delay getting your child vaccinated if they have symptoms of COVID-19 or a positive antigen test result. They should isolate from other people.

If they had COVID-19, they need to wait:

  • 4 weeks if they are due to get dose 1 or dose 2
  • 3 months if they are due to get an additional dose because of a weak immune system
  • 6 months to get a booster (only available to people aged 12 and older)
  • 4 months to get a second booster (only available to people aged 12 and older with a weak immune system)

The wait is from when they first developed symptoms or from their positive COVID-19 test.

Read about when your child should not get a COVID-19 vaccine

Giving consent for vaccination

People under 16 need consent from a parent or legal guardian to get vaccinated.

Booster dose

12 to 15 year olds must attend their booster vaccination with a parent or legal guardian. You cannot give consent online in advance for a booster dose.

If it's not possible for a parent or legal guardian to be at the appointment, phone HSELive 1800 700 700 for advice.

Dose 1 and 2

People under 16 must attend their appointment with an adult. Where possible, the child’s parent or legal guardian should go with their child.

If the parent or legal guardian has given consent for vaccination online in advance for dose 1 or 2, it is possible for them to ask another adult to bring their child to the appointment.

The child getting the vaccine will also be asked if they want to get the vaccine at their appointment.

The vaccinator or your pharmacist can answer questions you might have about the vaccine.

Read more about deciding on vaccination for children

If your child is an international student in Ireland

Children from outside Ireland who are visiting or studying in Ireland can be vaccinated in Ireland.

They can book a vaccination centre appointment or they can attend a GP or pharmacy for their vaccine.

The child’s parent or legal guardian will need to give their consent for vaccination. If it's not possible for a parent or legal guardian to be at the appointment, phone HSELive 1800 700 700 for advice

If your child does not have a PPSN and you are not living in Ireland

The child’s school or host family should arrange for the child’s parent or guardian to complete and sign a consent form for vaccination.

Parents should read HSE information about the vaccines before giving their consent.

Find translated COVID-19 vaccine information

When the consent form is signed, the school or host family should contact the HSE to register the student for a vaccination centre appointment. They can also go to a walk-in clinic. The signed consent form must be brought to the vaccination centre.

If your child has a PPSN but you are not living in Ireland

If your child has a PPSN, you can register online for your child to get their vaccine and book a COVID-19 vaccine appointment. If it's not possible for a parent or legal guardian to be at the appointment, phone HSELive 1800 700 700 for advice.

What to bring

Bring the appointment information. This will be a text on the mobile phone used to register.

If possible, your child should bring a form of identification with their date of birth on it. This can be their passport or birth certificate.

If these are not available, any identification like a Public Services Card or school ID would be helpful also.

If your child does not have any identification, the adult who brings them to their appointment can confirm their identity and their age.

They should wear something that will make it easy to get the vaccine in their upper arm. Make sure to eat before arriving as there may be a wait at the vaccination centre.

Children with a weak immune system

If your child has a weak immune system, they may need an additional dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

This additional dose is given at least:

  • 28 days after their second dose for those aged 5 to 11
  • 2 months after their second dose for those aged 12 and over

Read more about getting an additional dose for a weak immune system

Booster doses for weak immune system

Booster doses are not recommended for 5 to 11 year olds at this time.

People over 12 with a weak immune system should get a booster dose after their additional dose.

Recommended COVID-19 vaccination for someone with a weak immune system

An example of recommended COVID-19 vaccination for someone over 12 with a weak immune system is:

  • 2 doses of the Pfizer vaccine as your first round of COVID-19 vaccination
  • an additional dose at least 2 months after this
  • a booster dose at least 3 months after your additional dose
  • a second booster at least 4 months after your first booster

Children with additional needs

Some children getting their vaccine may need:

  • more time at their appointment
  • a quieter appointment time with fewer people

If your child has additional needs, call HSELive to arrange one of these options.

Freephone: 1800 700 700

Last updated: 22 April 2022 at 12.30pm