We hope this message finds you well.
Thank you for your continuing support in helping to share information about COVID-19 and important health service updates. Our highlight communications updates for you this week are:
Information on healthcare services for Ukrainian nationals
Ukrainian nationals arriving in Ireland will be able to get health care services from the HSE including access to GPs, community care and hospital or emergency care. Ukrainian nationals will be able to get the same health services as people who are already living here and will be able to apply for a medical card. The HSE is making arrangements for these services to be provided. People can get up to date information about accessing health services on the HSE website at www.hse.ie/Ukraine. We will update this page often and we have information in English, Ukrainian and Russian languages.
COVID-19 is still with us and there are things that we can do:
- isolate if you are symptomatic (even if you are fully vaccinated and boosted) or if you are diagnosed with COVID-19
- complete your primary and booster programme of vaccination
- continue to manage risk for yourself and others who are more vulnerable. You can do this by wearing masks, physical distancing and avoiding crowds as well as maintaining basic hand and respiratory hygiene
The following public health advice will continue to be important:
- the continuation of mask wearing on public transport
- the continuation of mask wearing in healthcare settings in line with evolving national guidance
- continuing infection prevention and control measures in early learning settings, school-aged childcare and schools, including ventilation, hygiene measures and advice to stay at home if symptomatic
- current arrangements in place in respect of the schools’, early learning and school-aged care facilities’ antigen testing programme will also continue
Public Health Measures
COVID-19 vaccine booster for 12 to 15 year olds
All children aged 12 to 15 are being offered a COVID-19 vaccine booster.
The protection that your child has from their initial COVID-19 vaccines may weaken over time. Their booster dose should give them better protection and reduce their chances of getting seriously ill.
It is especially important for children with high risk health conditions, or if a family member is more at risk.
Most children can get their booster six months after their last COVID-19 vaccine. If they had COVID-19 since their last vaccine, they will need to wait six months after diagnosis before they get their booster.
You can book an appointment at a HSE vaccination centre on a day and time that suits you at hse.ie/book. You can also attend a HSE walk-in vaccine clinic without an appointment. Find clinic times and locations near you at hse.ie.
A parent or legal guardian must attend the appointment to give consent. If this isn’t possible, you can call our team in HSELive on 1800 700 700.
COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 5 to 11 years
If your child is aged 5 to 11 you can now book their COVID-19 vaccine appointment online at a time and date that suits you. The vaccine will help to protect them, and the rest of the family too. The World Health Organization has advised that the COVID-19 vaccine is safe for children of this age. Visit hse.ie for information or to book an appointment.
Video explaining the additional dose and booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine for people who have a weak immune system
In this video Dr Eimear Hayes, Senior Medical Officer from the HSE National Immunisation Office answers questions about the additional dose and booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine for people who have a weak immune system.
COVID-19 booster (4th) dose for people who are immunocompromised (have a weak immune system)
People who have a weak immune system, also called immunocompromised, can now get a booster (4th) dose. People in this group were offered an additional dose of the COVID-19 vaccine last year, and can now get a booster dose if it has been 3 months since their additional dose. If they had the Pfizer, AstraZeneca or Moderna vaccine, this booster will be their fourth vaccine dose. If they had Janssen vaccine this booster will be their third vaccine dose. See below for information on how to get your booster dose.
You can find more information here.
Treatment for people at the highest risk from COVID-19
A new medicine is available to treat people with COVID-19 (coronavirus) who are at the highest risk of becoming seriously ill. Sotrovimab is also known by the brand name Xevudy. It is the first type of COVID-19 medicine available in Ireland. You’ll be told by your doctor or consultant if this medicine is for you. Other COVID-19 medicines are expected to become available soon.
You can find more information here.
COVID-19 vaccine booster
People aged 16 and older can get their COVID-19 vaccine booster dose now. This includes people who have a weak immune system. To book an appointment or find a clinic near you, visit hse.ie.
You need to wait at least 3 months (90 days) after your vaccine course before you can get a booster dose. If you have had COVID-19 since you were vaccinated you should get your booster dose at least 3 months after your positive result.
Please bring photo ID that shows your date of birth to your appointment or walk-in clinic.
We continue to operate clinics for dose 1 and dose 2 vaccinations (for people aged 12 years and over), and booster vaccine clinics. Find the full list of clinics by county here. You can also check @HSELive on Twitter for daily updates.
All of our vaccination centres are offering online booking for booster appointments, which can be booked up to 5 days in advance. You can find more information here.
Full details of how to get tested are available here.
COVID-19 Vaccination Programme
You can find the latest information on vaccines administered here.
COVID-19 information in other languages
Visit hse.ie/translations for a range of COVID-19 vaccine information videos and other resources that have been produced in other languages, including information on COVID-19 vaccination in pregnancy.
Where to find COVID-19 Vaccination Information
We encourage everyone to read about the COVID-19 vaccine and to get their information from a factual, trusted source – here are the links to the pages with information on the vaccine:
- Check here for information about the vaccine, information on this page is updated regularly
- Find the vaccine information materials at hse.ie/covid19vaccinematerials
- Details on COVID-19 vaccines administered are available here
- Read the full COVID-19 Vaccine Allocation Strategy
- Read the National Immunisation Advisory Committee Chapter about COVID-19 vaccine
- COVID-19 vaccine information for health professionals
- Information in Irish Sign Language: information resources on the COVID-19 vaccines in Irish Sign Language are available here
- COVID-19 vaccines easy read and accessible information formats are available here
- Translated resources are available here
Brain Awareness Week – Take steps to reduce your risk of dementia
Brain Awareness Week takes place March 14th to 20th. To coincide with the week the Dementia: Understand Together campaign is encouraging everyone, especially people in mid-life, to make simple changes to help maintain brain health and reduce the risk of developing dementia.
A Lancet study in 2020 identified 12 modifiable risk factors that could account for 40% of dementia worldwide and we are highlighting a number of these factors, creating awareness of the link with dementia and how people in their midlife can reduce their risk. Proactive steps people can take include regular physical activity, eating a healthy balanced diet, quitting smoking, managing blood pressure, and taking time for social connection and interaction.
For more information on brain health and dementia visit our website understandtogether.ie. The Dementia: Understand Together campaign is led by the HSE in partnership with the Alzheimer Society of Ireland, Age Friendly Ireland, Age & Opportunity, Healthy Ireland, and the Dementia Services Information and Development Centre.
Please find at the bottom of this message the campaign partner pack. We would be grateful if you would help to share the campaign information with your networks.
HSE AMRIC Webinar Infection Prevention and Control guidance COVID 19 for Disability Services
Friday, March 11th (from 12-1pm)
You can pre-register to attend here.
For telephone access to listen to the webinar, please use the following number: 01 53-39982.
Please email any queries or topics you wish to raise at the webinar to firstname.lastname@example.org
Winter pressure on our health service
A range of factors including the impact of winter and the high numbers in hospital and attending Emergency Departments (ED) are leading to a very high demand on both hospital and community services. In line with the HSE Winter Plan, a number of measures are being taken to manage this period of high demand.
The HSE is asking members of the public to consider all care options before attending hospital EDs, as acute and community services face a period of unprecedented pressure. There are a range of care pathways available to patients who do not need emergency care including Pharmacists, GP, GP Out of Hours Services and Minor Injury Units. Within EDs, patients will be prioritised based on their clinical need.
Applications are now being invited by the HSE for National Lottery Funding Grants (closing date: 23rd March)
This funding is distributed by the HSE each year to community-based groups and voluntary organisations under the Respite Care Grant Scheme and the National Lottery Grant Scheme.
Groups and organisations involved in the provision of Health and Personal Social Services can apply for once-off funding of between €500 and €10,000 for suitable projects.
The closing date for applications is 12 noon on Wednesday 23rd March 2022. Applicants will be advised as to the outcome of their application by 8th July 2022.
Free flu vaccine for at-risk groups
It’s flu season and while anyone can catch the flu, some people are more at risk of catching the flu, getting seriously ill or needing hospital treatment. There is still time for at-risk groups to get the flu vaccine including people aged 50 or over, pregnant women, people with certain long term conditions and healthcare workers. The HSE encourages these at-risk groups to make an appointment with their GP or Pharmacist for their free flu vaccine. It’s the best way to be protected from the flu. Find a participating pharmacy.
Public Health Information
For updated information and advice on Coronavirus, please go to: https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/covid19/ 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.
You can find translated resources here.
You can find the COVID-19 A-Z information here from the HSE’s Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC).
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.
If your organisation has any requests in relation to COVID-19 public health information materials, please reply directly to this email to let us know.
Many thanks and best wishes,
Kahlil and Sandra
COVID-19 Stakeholder Engagement, HSE Communications