COVID-19 vaccine booster dose

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

What do ‘booster dose’ and ‘first round of COVID-19 vaccination’ mean?

Booster dose

A ‘booster dose’ is the extra dose of COVID-19 vaccine used to give better protection to people who have already had their first round of COVID-19 vaccination.

Booster vaccines are currently only available to people aged 16 or older.

First round of COVID-19 vaccination

When we say ‘first round of COVID-19 vaccination’ we mean your dose 1 and dose 2 if you got AstraZeneca, Moderna or Pfizer. Or your single dose if you got the Janssen vaccine.

Children aged 5 and older can now get a COVID-19 vaccine.

If you have a weak immune system, you should have been offered an ‘additional dose’ to give you better protection. This is because your immune system may not respond as well to vaccination. You will still need a booster dose after this additional dose.

How long to wait before getting a booster

You need to wait 3 months (at least 90 days) after your first round of COVID-19 vaccination before you can get a booster.

If you had COVID-19 since you were vaccinated, you should get your booster dose at least 3 months after your positive test result.

If you tested positive within the last 3 months, you can use this form to postpone your booster appointment.

How to get your booster

There are 3 ways to get your booster dose:

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

Your booster appointment

You do not need to confirm your appointment. Bring photo ID that shows your date of birth.

If you already had your booster

If you get an appointment text from the HSE, but you have already had your booster, please cancel your HSE appointment.

Reply to the appointment text with 'reject'.

Important

Do not go to your booster appointment if you have COVID-19, have symptoms of COVID-19 or are restricting your movements.

Changing your appointment

Booked your own appointment online

If you booked your own appointment, you can cancel it by using the link in the text message. You can then book another appointment.

You can choose a different vaccination centre for your new appointment if you need to.

Did not book your own appointment online

If you did not book your appointment online, you can cancel it by replying to the appointment text with 'reject'. You will not get any more appointment texts after this.

If you want a new appointment in the same vaccination centre, reply to the text with ‘new’.

Change vaccination centre

If you need to change the vaccination centre, reply with ‘reject’ to cancel the appointment.

Then do one of the following:

Healthcare worker booster

If you are a healthcare worker, you will get a text message from the HSE with a vaccination centre appointment. Some healthcare workers may be offered a vaccine at their workplace.

You can also choose to go to a walk-in booster clinic when they are open for healthcare workers.

People with underlying conditions

People aged 16 and older with the following conditions or treatments are now being called for a booster dose.

You do not need to do anything to arrange an appointment. You will get an appointment by text message to get your booster at a vaccination centre. You may also get your booster at a GP or pharmacy.

Cancer patients

Cancer patients affected include:

  • non-haematological cancer within 1 year following immunomodulating treatment
  • all other cancers being treated (excluding hormonal treatment)
Chronic heart and vascular disease

For example:

  • heart failure
  • hypertensive
  • cardiac disease
Chronic liver disease

For example:

  • cirrhosis
  • fibrosis
Chronic neurological disease or condition

People with evolving respiratory failure who need non-invasive ventilation.

For example:

  • motor neurone disease
  • spinal muscular atrophy

People who have significantly compromised respiratory function or the ability to clear secretions.

For example:

  • Parkinson’s disease
  • cerebral palsy
Chronic respiratory disease

People who have:

  • stable and severe cystic fibrosis
  • moderate and severe COPD
  • severe pulmonary fibrosis
  • severe asthma (continuous or repeated use of systemic corticosteroids)
Diabetes

People with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes

Inherited metabolic diseases

People who have:

  • disorders of intermediary metabolism/at risk of acute decompensation. For example, Maple Syrup Urine Disease
  • disorders of intermediary
  • metabolism not fulfilling
Intellectual disability

People who have an intellectual disability including Down Syndrome

Obesity

People who have a BMI greater than 35 Kg/m2

Severe mental illness

For example:

  • schizophrenia
  • bipolar disorder
  • severe depression
Sickle cell disease

People who have sickle cell disease

Weak immune system

If you have a weak immune system, you should have been offered an an additional COVID-19 vaccine dose.

People aged 16 and over should get a booster dose at least 3 months after your additional dose.

If you were vaccinated in a different country

If you were vaccinated abroad, you can get your booster here if you are due one. Wait until it has been 3 months (at least 90 days) since you finished your first round of COVID-19 vaccination.

Phone 1800 700 700 to arrange your appointment. You will need your vaccination details including vaccine type, date given and expiry date.

If you are unable to leave your home

If you got your COVID-19 vaccine at home last time, we will contact you to organise your vaccine at home again.

If you were not vaccinated at home before and can't leave your home now, your GP can refer you for home vaccination.

If you do not have a GP, phone 1800 700 700.

Which vaccine you will be offered

If you are 30 years or older, you will be offered a single booster dose of either the:

The vaccine you will be offered will depend on supply.

If you are 29 years or younger, you will be offered the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine as your booster dose.

The National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) has recommended these vaccines as a booster. You will be offered one of these even if you got a different COVID-19 vaccine previously.

For example, you will get a booster dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine even if you were first vaccinated with the Janssen vaccine.

Booster immunity

It takes 7 days for a COVID-19 vaccine booster dose to work. After this time, the booster is very effective at preventing serious illness.

We do not know yet how long booster immunity will last. Clinical studies are ongoing to find this out.

Booster dose safety

An mRNA COVID-19 vaccine booster dose has been:

  • recommended by the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) in Ireland in people aged 16 and over 3 months after finishing a course of COVID-19 vaccines
  • licensed by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in people aged 18 and over 6 months after finishing a course of COVID-19 vaccine

There have not been any concerns about serious side effects in people who have received a booster dose so far.

If you have any concerns about getting a booster, talk to your GP, nurse, pharmacist or vaccinator.

After your COVID-19 booster dose

Unlike after your first or second dose, you will not need to wait 15 minutes after your COVID-19 booster dose.

But you will still be asked to sit and wait after your vaccine for 30 minutes if you have ever had a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis).

Get medical care immediately if you:

  • have difficulty breathing
  • feel dizzy
  • have a fast heartbeat or a skin rash

These could be a sign of an allergic reaction. But severe allergic reactions are rare.

Flu vaccine

It is safe to get your COVID-19 vaccine at the same time as the flu vaccine or any other vaccines you may need.

EU digital COVID cert

These certs are issued by the Government, not by the HSE.

You can request:

  • a certificate if you have received your primary COVID-19 vaccination, or
  • an updated certificate if you have had a booster dose

Request a digital COVID-19 cert on gov.ie

You can also request a certificate of recovery from 11 days after a positive PCR test.

Request a COVID-19 recovery certificate on gov.ie

Last updated: 17 January 2022 at 12.50pm

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