How to get a COVID-19 vaccine for children

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

You can book:

  • dose 1 and dose 2 - for all people aged 5 and older
  • a first booster dose - for all people aged 12 and older
  • a second booster dose - for people aged 12 and older at higher risk from COVID-19
  • a third booster dose - for people aged 12 and older with a weak immune system

If your child is aged 5 to 11 with a weak immune system, you will be contacted with an appointment for their first booster.

How to get your child vaccinated

Parents or legal guardians can choose to do one of the below:

If you have more than one child getting vaccinated, book an appointment for each child.

How long to wait

Wait at least 4 months after getting your last COVID-19 vaccine before getting a booster.

If you had COVID-19, wait at least 4 months since you tested positive or from when your symptoms started.

Getting dose 1 or dose 2

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.

5 to 11 year olds cannot get vaccinated at a pharmacy or GP.

Children with a weak immune system

If your child has a weak immune system, they will need an additional dose after their first round of COVID-19 vaccines. This is because COVID-19 vaccines may be less effective for them than for other people.

If your child is aged 5 to 11 with a weak immune system, they can now get their first booster dose. You will be contacted with their appointment time.

Weak immune system and COVID-19 vaccines

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 HSELive 1800 700 700 to register by phone.

When to delay vaccine

Delay getting your child vaccinated if they have symptoms of COVID-19 or a positive COVID-19 test result.

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

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

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

Anyone under 16 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

Anyone 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.

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 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