Booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine

Booster vaccine doses are now being offered for COVID-19:

Bivalent COVID-19 vaccines

New bivalent COVID-19 vaccines are now being offered as booster doses. These adapted vaccines are expected to give you better protection against COVID-19, including the Omicron variant.

Third booster dose

You can get your third booster dose if you are:

Bivalent vaccines

If your second booster was after 3 October 2022 at a vaccination centre, you had a bivalent vaccine.

If you are not sure which vaccine you had, call HSE Live on 1800 700 700.

How long to wait before getting a third booster

Wait at least 4 months since getting your last COVID-19 vaccine.

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

Second booster dose

You can get your second booster dose if you are:

  • age 18 to 49 - wait at least 6 months since getting your last COVID-19 vaccine or COVID-19 infection

You can still get your second booster dose if you are:

If you are in one of these groups you can wait a shorter time of at least 4 months after getting your last COVID-19 vaccine or COVID-19 infection.

You can check the date of your last vaccine on your digital COVID-19 certificate.

For a previous COVID-19 infection, count from when you tested positive or from when your symptoms started.

How to get your booster

You can choose to:

Some people may also be able to get a booster dose from their GP.

You can get your COVID-19 booster and flu vaccine at the same time.

Which vaccine you will be offered

First booster dose

Some people have not had their first booster dose yet. If you haven't already, you can book an appointment for your first booster if you are 12 or older.

People under 16 must attend their booster appointment with a parent or guardian. A parent or guardian will need to give consent for their child’s vaccination.

5 to 11 with a weak immune system

Children aged 5 to 11 with a weak immune system are now being invited for a first booster.

You will be contacted with an appointment for your child. You do not need to do anything. But if you need to reschedule, you can book a COVID-19 booster appointment.

Recommended vaccine doses for people with a weak immune system

Why get a booster dose

It's important to keep up-to-date with your COVID-19 vaccines, even if you are already vaccinated or you have had COVID-19.

The protection from previous doses or a COVID-19 infection may weaken with time. You may be at higher risk of severe disease if you get COVID-19.

A booster can prevent the possibility of hospitalisation or death from COVID-19 illness.

Booster immunity

It may take 7 days for a COVID-19 vaccine booster dose to work.

Your booster appointment

Bring photo ID that shows your date of birth.


Do not go to your booster appointment if you have COVID-19 or symptoms of COVID-19

If you are unable to leave your home

If you can't leave your home, your GP can refer you for home vaccination.

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

If you were vaccinated in a different country

If you were vaccinated abroad, you can get your booster here if you are due one.

You will need your vaccination details including vaccine type, date given and expiry date.

If you do not have a PPS number

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

Your proof of address can be a:

  • household bill in your name
  • bank or financial institution statement
  • letter from a public service department or agency
  • rental agreement
  • letter from the owner of the property to confirm you live there - this can be your parent
  • bill or letter from a hotel or Airbnb

Phone HSELive on 1800 700 700 if you cannot book an appointment online.

Which vaccine you will be offered

You will be offered a bivalent Pfizer or Moderna vaccine as a booster dose.

These adapted vaccines work in the same way as the original Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines. But they are expected to give even more protection against COVID-19 variants.

If you are 30 or older, you will be offered either the bivalent Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine or the bivalent Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine you will be offered will depend on supply.

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

You may get a non-mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, like Novavax, if an mRNA vaccine is not suitable or you choose not to have an mRNA vaccine.

Read more about COVID-19 vaccine types

Booster dose safety

Because they are new, we have less information on the safety of the second or third COVID-19 boosters.

Many countries have given multiple doses of COVID-19 vaccines. There have not been any unexpected safety concerns so far for people who have had multiple boosters.

Myocarditis and pericarditis are inflammatory heart conditions and are very rare risks of mRNA vaccines. These rare side effects are more common in men under the age of 30 years after their second primary vaccine dose. The risk of these side effects appears to be lower after the first booster.

Read more about COVID-19 vaccine side effects

If you have had anaphylaxis (severe allergic reaction) to Trometamol, you cannot have the adapted vaccines.

We expect that the safety of the adapted vaccines will be similar to the previous vaccines. The safety of the vaccines will continue to be monitored by the EMA.

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

After your COVID-19 booster dose

You need to wait in the clinic for 15 minutes after the vaccine. This is to make sure that you feel well before you leave.

If you have had a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) in the past, you'll need to wait 30 minutes.

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.

EU digital COVID cert

You should get an email with your digital COVID-19 cert after getting your vaccine.

Request a digital COVID-19 cert

Page last reviewed: 29 December 2022