Covid-19 Vaccine Information

Last update March 1st 2021

We have completed our first two Covid-19 vaccine clinics and will continue delivering Covid-19 vaccine to our patients every two weeks as quickly as we receive the vaccine from the HSE. It was a privilege to be able the provide the vaccine to our senior citizens over 85 who have given so much to Ireland over the years.

Other age groups will be offered the vaccine as per the HSE guidelines. Dates for our other Covid-19 vaccine clinic and age groups covered can be found by clicking here.

In order to facilitate an efficient roll out of the vaccine to you or your loved ones please contact us to ensure we have an up to date mobile phone number and PPSN for you. We will contact you by text for your covid-19 appointment.

Once the over 70 patient group is completed we wil then move as per HSE guidelines to patients over 65 with long term health conditions. It is likely that the conditions included will be exactly the same as those for the influenza and pneumococcal vaccine and you are likely to know if you will be able to access the vaccine in the first round of this phase of the vaccination programme.

For more informaton about the proposed roll out of the vaccines and general vaccine information click here.

For more information on the sequence the provisional vaccine allocation group click here.

For general information about the Covid-19 vaccine from the HSE click here.

If you are due to have a vaccine with us please download and complete page 1 of this Covid 19 checklist form and bring it with you on the day of your vaccine.

Information on specific vaccines

Pfizer/Biontech Vaccine

The Pfizer/Biontech vaccine (Comirnaty) was the first vaccine approve by the European Medicines Agency and is currently in use in Ireland. This vaccine does not contain any actual virus so it is not possible to get Covid-19 infection from it. Instead, it uses messenger RNA to “teach” our immune cells how to create anti-bodies against the spike proteins on the Covid-19 virus. The spikes on the coronavirus are what allow it to attach to healthy cells and cause disease so destroying these effectively kills the virus.

Side effects from this vaccine include soreness at the injection site, fatigue, headache and fever. These are usually mild and transient. Two vaccinations with 0.3mls of the vaccine at least 21 days apart are required.

Roll out of this vaccine to GPs in Ireland will begin on February 15th 2021. Due to difficulties with transport and storage of the vaccine there will be very little flexibility with the day and time of your appointment if offered this vaccine. .

Moderna Vaccine

The Moderna vaccine was the second vaccine to be used here in Ireland is similar to the Pzfizer one in that it also uses messenger RNA to stimulate the body to develop antibodies against the Covid-19 virus. It also has to be stored at very low temperatures and so it will be challenging to deliver this vaccine in General Practice. Two doses are required to develop adequate immunity. Currently it is planned to offer this and the Pfizer vaccine to all patients over 70 years of age and the AstraZeneca vaccine (see below) to patients under 70. this is because there are concerns that the AstraZeneca vaccine may not be effective in older age groups.

Side effects include tenderness, swelling and redness around the injection site as well as aches and pains, fever and headache. These occur in about one in every ten doses given and are more likely on the second dose.

More detailed information on how both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine work with detailed illustrations can be got from this article from the New York Times newspaper.

AstraZeneca Vaccine

This is the vaccine we will be using in our practice for most patients under 70 years of age. It has a different mode of action than the other two and is a lot more stable. This vaccine hides tiny strands of DNA inside another virus called an adenovirus. These are well known viruses and are generally associated with the common cold. The adenovirus contained in the vaccine gets into the body’s immune cells and prompts it to produce antibodies against the spike proteins on the covid-19 virus. Once these are formed the body kills off the Covid-19 virus once it enters the body.

Two vaccines are required and similar side effects to the vaccines above are associated with the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Due to well publicised issues in relation to the supply of this vaccine to the EU, Ireland may use other vaccines to make up the shortfall in vaccine availability. Several other vaccines with a similar mode of action are currently in the pipeline and should soon be approved by the EMA.