Message from HSE: COVID-19 Updates

Public Health Measures

Ireland is at level 5 restrictions.

You can see the measures in place here.


COVID-19 Vaccination Programme

The vaccination programme continues to be rolled out nationwide, and more than 632,359 vaccines have been administered as of the 16th March 2021. Vaccination of Group 2 (frontline healthcare workers) and Group 3 (those aged 70 and over) continue, and we have also begun to vaccinate Group 4 (people with certain health conditions that put them at very high risk). Our hospital and healthcare teams continue to work to identify and plan for contacting people in Group 4. For now, people in these groups don’t need to take any action.


COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca® safety update

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has recommended the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine as safe and effective, whose benefits outweigh the risks, following a review of potential side effects carried out this week.


The National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC), which is the expert group that advises on vaccination in Ireland, has recommended that vaccination with COVID-19 vaccine AstraZeneca should recommence. The HSE will now resume using the AstraZeneca vaccine within our ongoing COVID-19 vaccination programme. Hospitals, CHOs, service providers and clinicians will be supporting colleagues and patients who will now be invited for their vaccine.


For further information pleases see: COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca® Safety Update (PDF)


A Parents’ Guide to Close Contacts in School

This guide sets out what to expect when your child has been told they are a close contact of COVID-19 in school. This guide is available here.


Support the Quit Leaders

Smoking increases your risk of acute respiratory infections like COVID-19 by damaging the natural barriers in your airways and lungs that help prevent infections. Thankfully, many people are giving up smoking because of the risk posed by COVID-19 and with the support of the HSE Quit programme, they have a much better chance of success. We have recruited 10 would-be quitters to tell their stories and help inspire others to join them on the journey towards becoming smoke-free. Please see the Quit 2021 partner pack attached to find out more about how you can follow their journey to inspire even more people to Quit.


Medical Cards for patients with Terminal Illnesses

The Government introduced a measure on Feb 9th 2021 that will enable individuals, who have been certified by their treating consultant as having a prognosis of less than 24 months to live, to be awarded a medical card without undergoing a means test. The measure is being introduced on an administrative basis pending legislative change. From 12th March 2021, a medical card can be awarded (without a means test) to an individual who has been certified by their treating consultant as having a prognosis of 24 months or less and the updated information is available on the HSE website here.

HSE Health and Wellbeing Webinar: Positive Psychology and Happiness

31st March 2021 (2-3pm)

You can register for the webinar here.


EU Web Survey to explore current drug trends in Ireland is open for Irish participation

HSE in collaboration with the Health Research Board and the EU drugs agency (EMCDDA) are asking adults in Ireland who use drugs to complete this survey to help shape the future of drug policies and interventions. The survey is anonymous and is open to adults aged 18 and over. The survey is open from today for a 6 week period.


The survey is available here.

Read more about the survey here.


For information and support relating to your own or someone else’s drug use, go to or Freephone the HSE Helpline on 1800 459 459 Monday – Friday 9:30 – 5:30 or email


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:


Public Health Information

As always, for the most up to date information and advice on Coronavirus, please go to: and Clinical and professional guidance relating to COVID-19 is available on 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 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.