Getting your COVID-19 vaccine

To get a free COVID-19 (coronavirus) vaccine most people need to:

  1. Register for a vaccine, when it's their turn.
  2. Go to a vaccination centre or GP clinic to be vaccinated.

Cyber attack update

COVID-19 vaccination appointments are going ahead as normal.

We will let you know when you can register. You'll find out through the news, advertising, your GP or your healthcare team.

If you’re aged 50 or over, you can make an appointment to get your COVID-19 vaccine at a local pharmacy.

If you have a health condition that puts you at higher risk of COVID-19, your doctor may offer you your vaccine. If this happens, you do not need to register online.

Registration for people aged 40 to 69

If you are aged 40 to 69, you can now register to get a free COVID-19 vaccine.

People aged 50 or over

If you’re aged 50 or over and not already vaccinated, you can get your COVID-19 vaccine at a local pharmacy.

Many pharmacies are now offering this age group the Janssen single-dose COVID-19 vaccine.

You will need to book your appointment with the pharmacy. 

If you are aged 50 or over and would prefer to get your vaccine at a HSE vaccination centre, register on HSE.ie.

To get your vaccine at a pharmacy, contact a pharmacist on the list of participating pharmacies.

Rollout

People who are most at risk from COVID-19 are being vaccinated first.

Read about the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines in Ireland

Help with registering online

We have a user guide for help with registering online including:

Read the user guide for online COVID-19 vaccine registration

If you cannot register online

If you cannot register online, call the COVID-19 helpline to register by phone.

If you are deaf or hard of hearing

If you are deaf or hard of hearing you can text the COVID-19 helpline on 086 1800 661 to register for your vaccine.

Irish Sign Language users

If you are a deaf Irish Sign Language user and you need an interpreter to talk to a HSE COVID-19 helpline agent, you can use the Irish Remote Interpreting Service (IRIS).

Why you should get your get COVID-19 vaccine

COVID-19 vaccines offer protection from COVID-19. COVID-19 is a highly infectious disease that can cause serious illness, hospitalisation and even death.

If you do get COVID-19 after vaccination, you should be protected from the serious illness the virus can sometimes cause.

It is up to you to decide to get your COVID-19 vaccine. But the HSE, the World Health Organization and the Department of Health strongly recommend that you do as soon as it is offered to you.

Which COVID-19 vaccine you will get

You do not get to choose which vaccine you get. The type of vaccine offered to you will be based on supply.

All the vaccines we use are safe and effective. The best vaccine to get is the one you are offered.

Read more about the:

When you should not get your COVID-19 vaccine

Do not get your COVID-19 vaccine if you:

  • have had a severe allergic reaction to a previous dose of the vaccine
  • currently have COVID-19 – wait until it has been 4 weeks since you first tested positive
  • have symptoms of COVID-19 – self-isolate (stay in your room) and phone your GP to get tested
  • have a fever (temperature of 38 degrees Celsius or above) – wait until you feel better
  • are restricting your movements - wait until you have completed your period of restricted movements to get your vaccine

Non-urgent advice: Talk to your GP before getting your COVID-19 vaccine if

you have had an immediate allergic reaction to:

  • any other vaccine
  • injectable therapy – this means any medicine by injection for example, insulin or an IV (intravenous) drip
  • any of the ingredients in the vaccine, including polyethylene glycol (found in the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines) or polysorbate 80 (found in the AstraZeneca and Janssen vaccines)

The vaccinator will ask you about any allergies you may have.

You should not get the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine if you have:

  • previously had capillary leak syndrome
  • have had blood clots with low platelets after a previous dose of AstraZeneca

When you have been vaccinated against COVID-19

When your vaccine has had time to work, you can do some things that were not recommended before you were vaccinated.

This is called a ‘vaccine bonus’.

Read more about the vaccine bonus

Important

After COVID-19 vaccination, you can still become a close contact. There is no change in advice for what close contacts of COVID-19 need to do, even if they have been vaccinated.

If you have already had COVID-19

If you have already had COVID-19, you still need to get vaccinated. This is because you could become infected with the virus again.

There's a small chance you might still get COVID-19 even if you have been vaccinated. But you'll be protected from the serious illness the virus can sometimes cause.

If you are cocooning

Talk to your GP if you cannot leave home for medical reasons. They can refer you for home vaccination.

If you are cocooning and get your COVID-19 vaccine there is no change in advice. For example, you are still advised to stay at home as much as possible and work from home. If you are not able to work from home, talk to your employer.

If you take immunosuppressive medicines

You should still get your COVID-19 vaccine if you take immunosuppressant medicines.

Examples of immunosuppressants are:

  • steroids
  • biologic agents
  • methotrexate
  • azathioprine

If you take rituximab, speak to your consultant before getting the vaccine. They will tell you the best time, between doses of rituximab, to get the vaccine.

If you have a weakened immune system, your COVID-19 vaccine may not work as well for you. But there is no extra risk in getting it.

Read more about weak immune systems and COVID-19

Consent

You will need to give your consent before you get your COVID-19 vaccine.

Your vaccinator will be happy to answer any questions you have at your appointment.

Personal information

Your personal information will be processed in line with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). It will only be processed for the specific purpose of managing your vaccination.

Read more about how the HSE works in line with GDPR

This content was fact checked by vaccine experts working in Ireland

Last updated: 13 June 2021 at 12.00pm