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Stay at home – level 5 restrictions are in place nationwide. Get the latest advice about COVID-19

Overview

Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccines are the most effective way to prevent infectious diseases. They prepare your immune system (your body's natural defences) to recognise and defend itself against a specific virus.

The Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective.

Doses

You will need 2 doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

You should get your second dose 3 to 4 weeks after your first dose.

Read about how long it takes to work

Immunity

Vaccines teach your immune system how to protect you from diseases.

It is much safer for your immune system to learn how to protect you from COVID-19 through vaccination than by catching the virus.

Read more about immunity after the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine

Safety

The Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine was developed in line with international standards of safety.

Millions of people in the UK and the US have been given the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

Read more about the safety of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine

Side effects

Like all medicines, vaccines can cause side effects. Most of these are mild to moderate and short-term.

Not everyone gets side effects.

Read more about side effects after the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine

Which vaccine is best

All vaccines are tested for safety and effectiveness before they can be used. The HSE only uses a vaccine if it meets the required standards of safety and effectiveness. You should get any vaccine that is offered to you.

Read more about COVID-19 vaccine development

If you are pregnant

There’s no evidence that COVID-19 vaccination is unsafe if you’re pregnant. Being vaccinated will reduce the chance of you becoming very unwell.

The information we have so far shows that the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine does not have any negative effect on babies in the womb.

Read more about COVID-19 vaccines in pregnancy

If you are breastfeeding

There is no known reason to avoid breastfeeding if you are vaccinated.

If very small parts of the vaccine get into your breast milk, they will be digested in your baby’s stomach.

Read more about COVID-19 vaccines if you are breastfeeding

This content was fact checked by vaccine experts working in Ireland

Last updated: 29 March 2021 at 12pm