Image: COVID-19 vaccine

Latest updates on the COVID-19 vaccine in Ireland

The body’s natural defence against disease is called its immune system. A vaccine’s job is to train the body’s immune system to recognise and defend itself against a specific disease. Vaccines help our bodies develop immunity to a virus without us having to get the illness.

The European Commission authorised the use of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine (Comirnaty) in December 2020. The Commission has also granted a conditional marketing authorisation (CMA) for the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Moderna, the second COVID-19 vaccine authorised in the EU.

The rollout of the vaccines has begun across the European Union. Having a safe and effective vaccine is a major step forward in limiting the impact of COVID-19 on our lives and economy.

The national vaccination programme has begun in Ireland, starting with front line healthcare workers and people over 65 years of age and living in Long Term Residential Care facilities. In order to limit the spread of the virus, we will all need to continue to practise the important public health measures that we’ve been following during the pandemic:

  • regular hand washing
  • cover coughs and sneezes
  • keep a 2-metre distance from other people
  • keep social contacts with other people outside our household to a minimum
  • know the symptoms of COVID-19 and stay at home and contact your GP to arrange a test if you think you have symptoms
  • wear a face covering in shops and in busy indoor workplaces, on public transport and in crowded outdoor spaces

These are our most effective tools to limit the spread of this highly infectious virus. Getting the COVID-19 vaccine will be an important addition to the public health measures to protect ourselves from the spread of COVID-19.

The National Vaccination Plan for the COVID-19 vaccine in Ireland

The Irish Government established a High-Level Task Force on COVID-19 Vaccination. This group has developed a national vaccination plan for the COVID-19 vaccine in Ireland. The Taskforce is working with the HSE and the Department of Health on the rollout of the national COVID-19 vaccination programme.

The COVID-19 Vaccine Allocation Strategy lists the groups of people who will be the first to access a COVID-19 vaccine in Ireland. The COVID-19 vaccine will be available free of charge to everyone in Ireland.