The COVID-19 vaccine is here, and starting from tomorrow 30th December, the HSE will begin giving the vaccine to people in the highest priority groups – frontline healthcare workers, and older people living in long-term care facilities. We will begin vaccinating in four hospital sites tomorrow and a 6 week programme of vaccinations will commence in nursing homes nationwide from January 4th.
The COVID-19 vaccine will offer you protection from COVID-19. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine should also protect you from the serious complications of COVID-19. Our aim in offering the vaccine to the population is to protect people and reduce the illness and deaths caused by this virus.
We are commencing an information programme all about the vaccine, starting with information for the first priority groups being offered the vaccine. Our information covers the topics that people told us were most important to them – when the vaccine will be available, who is in the priority groups, safety and long-term side effects, and how effective the vaccine is. We will begin radio and social media advertising on December 30th.
We encourage everyone in Ireland to read about the COVID-19 vaccine and to get their information from a factual, trusted source – our website on www.hse.ie/covid19vaccine is a good place to start, and you can find our vaccine information materials at www.hse.ie/covid19vaccinematerials
An Easy Read Guide will be available in the coming days.
Public Health Measures
Ireland has now moved to Level 5 with some modifications.
You can see the measures in place here. We are asking everyone to please reduce their contacts as much as possible, and make sure to follow the public health advice to stop the spread of the virus.
HSE COVID-19 Test and Trace is open
When you need a test for COVID-19, our health service works hard to make this as quick and safe as possible for you. If you feel unwell on a public holiday, the weekend or in the evening, the GP out of hours service can refer you for a test too. The GP referral and test are both free of charge. Most people will get a test appointment within 24 hours. Our contact tracers will continue to call people who test positive for COVID-19 and trace their close contacts to give them public health advice throughout the New Year.
Contact tracers will advise close contacts to restrict their movements for 14 days and arrange a COVID-19 test. People who test positive and/or who have symptoms of COVID-19 must self-isolate in a room on their own and avoid other people. This will help stop the spread of the virus.
GP out of hours services are available throughout the country at weekends and evenings. You can find contact details for your local GP Out of Hours Service here.
Public Health Information
As always, for the most up to date information and advice on Coronavirus, please go to: https://www2.hse.ie/coronavirus/ and https://www.hpsc.ie/a-z/respiratory/coronavirus/novelcoronavirus/. Clinical and professional guidance relating to COVID-19 is available on www.hpsc.ie where you’ll find up to date guidance for healthcare settings and non-clinical settings.
Please check here for the most up to date partner resources for COVID-19.
Please also check the Healthy Ireland site here with further resources and information on the Keep Well campaign
You can view the latest information on how Ireland is responding to cases of COVID-19 here.
Ireland’s COVID-19 Data Hub is available here.