Booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine

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

  • first booster – people aged 12 and older can get this if they have not already
  • second booster – people aged 60 and older, pregnant women, and people with a weak immune system can book this now

Second booster dose

You can get your second booster dose from:

  • Monday, 15 August if you are aged 60 or older
  • Monday, 15 August if you are pregnant (from 16 weeks)
  • Monday, 22 August if you are aged 55 or older
  • Monday, 29 August if you are aged 50 or older

You can book a vaccine appointment at a vaccination here

If you have not already had your second booster, you can still get one if you are:

How long to wait before getting a second booster

You can get your second booster at least 4 months (at least 120 days) after your first booster.

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

65 or older – vaccine doses

If you are 65 or older, your second booster should be your fourth vaccine dose.

For someone aged 65 or older, your recommended COVID-19 vaccination is:

  • 2 doses as your first round of COVID-19 vaccination
  • a booster dose at least 3 months later
  • a second booster at least 4 months after your first booster

Why you may need a second booster

You may be more at risk of serious illness from COVID-19 if you have a weak immune system or are aged 65 or older.

This is because:

  • the protection from previous doses may weaken with time
  • you may be at greater risk of severe illness
  • your immune system may not respond as strongly to vaccination

Data from other countries shows that a second booster will give you extra protection from COVID-19. A second booster can prevent the possibility of hospitalisation or death from COVID-19 illness.

If you have a weak immune system

Your GP or hospital consultant may recommend a second booster if you have a weak immune system.

See a list of conditions and treatments that put you at high risk of COVID-19 illness

How to get your first booster

Book your COVID-19 booster appointment here

12 to 15 year olds must attend their booster appointment with a parent or guardian. A parent or guardian will need to give consent for their child’s vaccination.

How long to wait before getting your first booster

After your first round of COVID-19 vaccination, you need to wait:

  • 3 months (at least 90 days) if you are 16 or older
  • 6 months (at least 179 days) if you are aged 12 to 15

If you are getting Novavax for a booster dose, you should get this at least 5 months after your last COVID-19 vaccine.

When we say ‘first round of COVID-19 vaccination’ we mean your dose 1 and dose 2 if you got AstraZeneca, Moderna or Pfizer. Or your single dose if you got the Janssen vaccine.

If you have a weak immune system, you should have been offered an ‘additional dose’ to give you better protection. This is because your immune system may not respond as well to vaccination. You will still need your booster dose after this additional dose.

If you had COVID-19

If you had COVID-19 after your first round of vaccination, you should get your first booster dose at least:

  • 3 months after symptoms started or from your positive test result if you are 16 or older
  • 6 months after symptoms started or from your positive test result if you are aged 12 to 15

Booster immunity

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

We do not know yet how long booster immunity will last. Clinical studies are ongoing to find this out.

Your booster appointment

Bring photo ID that shows your date of birth.

Important

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

Which vaccine you will be offered

If you are 30 or older, you will be offered a single booster dose of either the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, or the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine. These are both mRNA vaccines. The vaccine you will be offered will depend on supply.

If you are 29 or younger, you will be offered the 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

We have less information on the safety of the second COVID-19 booster. The UK, Israel, Denmark and some other countries are giving a second booster to certain people. Studies show that there have not been any unexpected safety concerns so far for people who have had their first and second booster.

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 any concerns about getting a booster, talk to our pharmacist.

After your COVID-19 booster dose

You only need to wait in the pharmacy after your booster dose for 15 minutes. Get medical care immediately if:-

  • 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

These certs are issued by the Government, not by the HSE.

You can request:

  • a certificate if you have received your primary COVID-19 vaccination, or
  • an updated certificate if you have had a booster dose

Request a digital COVID-19 cert on gov.ie