COVID-19 Vaccine

COVID-19 Vaccine

At StayWell Pharmacy we are participating in the COVID-19 Vaccination Service. A number of our StayWell Pharmacies have been selected to partake in the HSE’s Community Pharmacy COVID-19 Vaccination Programme that will allow us to deliver COVID-19 vaccines in the community.

COVID-19 Comirnaty® Pfizer/BioNTech Vaccine

COVID-19 Comirnaty® Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is now available in several StayWell Pharmacies* from this week. The HSE has announced that registration for COVID-19 vaccination for 12-15 year olds with parental consent will open from, Thursday 12th August. As such, this age cohort will also be eligible to be vaccinated in participating Staywell Pharmacies. This two-dose vaccine is given 4-weeks apart and takes 7 days to work after recieving both doses at which point you are considered fully vaccinated.

COVID-19 vaccines are being administered in line with strategy based on priority groups, which is designed to vaccinate people who are most at risk of COVID-19 first. Click here to check your priority group.

COVID-19 Janssen® Vaccine

At StayWell Pharmacy, we are no longer able to offer COVID-19 Janssen® single-dose vaccine, as the HSE is no longer able to supply this vaccine to community pharmacies. For anyone who has registered for a COVID-19 Janssen® single-dose vaccine and is yet to still recieve a COVID-19 vaccine we would advise you to register for a COVID-19 Comirnaty® Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine instead.

How to Book an Appointment?

COVID-19 vaccine stocks are limited. If StayWell Pharmacies have availability we will re-open waitlist registrations or appointment bookings online or instore. If you are unable to register with your local CarePlus Pharmacy, it is because they have no availability.

Step 1 Register for your COVID-19 vaccine with your local StayWell Pharmacy. You can do this in store or online here for selected StayWell Pharmacies* by clicking on the “Register” button. You will be asked to complete a form giving the details required to process your vaccination. You will be asked to confirm your contact details along with your PPSN, answer some eligibility criteria questions and confirm your consent for the vaccine.

Step 2 A member of the StayWell Pharmacy team will contact you when an appointment becomes available. This may be via SMS message, email, or a phone call.

Step 3 Your local StayWell Pharmacy will send a reminder the day before your appointment, and you will be asked to confirm that you do not have any symptoms of COVID-19.

As COVID-19 vaccine doses are limited, and we all have a responsibility to minimise waste. Please

  • Do not register with multiple pharmacies
  • If you book an appointment and then for any reason are unable to attend, please let your StayWell Pharmacy know as soon as possible

*Subject to eligibility criteria, trained pharmacist, and vaccine availability. Selected StayWell Pharmacies only.

Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine and your Appointment

COVID-19 Health Screen Prior to Appointment:

Please do not attend your appointment if
• you have any current symptoms of Covid 19 or
• have been diagnosed with Covid 19 in the last 4 weeks or
• have been told you are a close contact of someone with Covid 19 or
• have been told you should isolate or
• have recently returned from foreign travel

Appointment Times:

• You should allow at least 30 minutes for your vaccination appointment. After getting the vaccine, you will be under observation for 15 minutes.
• Please be on time but do not arrive at your local StayWell Pharmacy more than 5 minutes before your appointment
• You will be sent a reminder prior to your appointment
• If you need to cancel or reschedule your appointment please contact your local StayWell Pharmacy as soon as you can
• Adults should arrive for their vaccination unaccompanied where possible. For Children 12- 15 years of age they will need to be accompanied by their parent or legal gaurdian or an adult who is elegible to give legal consent Who can give consent for vaccination of a young person aged under 16 years?

On the Day of your Vaccine Appointment:

• Please wear a loose-fitting top so that your upper arm is easily accessible
• Bring your phone, photo ID and a face covering
• If this is your second vaccination dose please bring your vaccination record card

Vaccine Information Leaflets:

Please read the relevant information  leaflets above about your assigned vaccine prior to your appointment. Leaflets will also be available at the pharmacy when you arrive for your vaccination.

Who is most at risk from COVID-19?

People aged 65 and older and people with certain health conditions have a higher risk of getting seriously ill if they get COVID-19.

What is the COVID-19 vaccine?

A vaccine is a substance that should improve immunity (protection) to a particular disease. The COVID-19 vaccine will offer you protection from COVID-19. If people are vaccinated, it should also reduce the numbers who become seriously ill or even die from COVID-19 in our community.

It is much safer for your immune system to learn how to protect you through vaccination than through getting COVID-19 itself.

How effective are the COVID-19 vaccines?

The first COVID-19 vaccine to be approved for use in Ireland by the EMA was the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. Millions of people in the UK and the US have already been given this vaccine.

Trials have shown that the Pfizer/BionTech vaccine is 95% effective, meaning that 95% of people who got this vaccine in the trial were protected from COVID-19.

The second COVID-19 vaccine to be approved for use in Ireland by the EMA was the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. Trials have shown that the Moderna vaccine is 94.5% effective, meaning 94.5% of people who got this vaccine in the trial were protected from COVID-19.

The third COVID-19 vaccine to be approved for use in Ireland by the EMA is the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. Trials have shown that the AstraZeneca vaccine is 60% effective. This means that 60% of people who received this vaccine in the trial were protected from COVID-19. New evidence from England shows that the vaccine reduced the risk of people getting COVID-19 by:

  • 76% after the first dose for up to 12 weeks
  • 82% when the second dose was given 12 weeks later

The fourth COVID-19 vaccine to be approved for use in Ireland by the EMA is the COVID‐19 Vaccine Janssen®. Trials have shown that the Janssen® vaccine is 66.9% effective. This means that 66.9% of people who received this vaccine in the trial were protected from COVID-19.

Who should get the vaccine?

You can see the list of groups for vaccination on this website: www.gov.ie/covid19vaccine

If you are contacted to have the vaccination, you will be asked some questions regarding your medical eligibility to ensure sure it is suitable for you.

While it is up to you to decide if you wish to get the vaccine, the HSE, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Department of Health strongly recommend that you do so as soon as it is offered to you.

Are there some people who should not get the COVID-19 vaccine?

Yes. You should not get the COVID-19 vaccine if you:

  • Have had a severe allergic reaction to any of the ingredients in the vaccine (read the manufacturer’s Patient Information Leaflet to see the list of ingredients)
  • Have had a severe allergic reaction to a previous dose of the vaccine

Or to individuals with:

  • Current COVID-19 infection or history of COVID-19 infection within the last 4 weeks
  • Severe illness and/or a high fever on the day of vaccination

You can still get the COVID-19 vaccine if you have an allergy to penicillin, latex, insect stings, dust mites, and food including nuts and eggs, as long as you are not allergic to any component of the vaccine.

Most people will be able to safely get the vaccine. If you have had an immediate allergic reaction to any other vaccine or injectable therapy, you should talk to your doctor about getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

Mild side effects of the vaccine include:

  • a sore arm at the site of injection
  • feeling tired
  • a headache
  • feeling achy

If needed, you can take painkillers, such as paracetamol. If your symptoms get worse or you are worried, call 999/112 or your local equivalent.

Serious side effects to any vaccines, like an allergic reaction, are extremely rare. These are seen in approximately one in 1 million people for all vaccines. Remember, these vaccines are new and long-term side effect information is limited. As more people in Ireland and around the world get vaccinated, more information may become available.

Your local StayWell Pharmacist administering the vaccine will be happy to answer any questions you have at your vaccination appointment.

They will also give you an aftercare advice leaflet, and a vaccine record card showing the name and batch number of the vaccine you have been given.

Why is it important to get the COVID-19 vaccine?

Getting a COVID-19 vaccine should reduce your risk of getting COVID-19 and protect you from serious complications of the illness. The government's aim in offering the vaccine to the population is to protect people and reduce the amount of illness and deaths caused by this virus.

How is the COVID-19 vaccine given?

The COVID-19 vaccine is given as an injection into your upper arm. It will only take a few minutes to receive the vaccine, but you must wait in your local StayWell Pharmacy after receiving the vaccination so the StayWell Pharmacy team can monitor you.

You will be asked to wait between 15-30 minutes depending on your medical history of anaphylaxis (anaphylaxis is a serious systemic allergic reaction requiring medical intervention).

Are the COVID-19 vaccines safe?

The HSE only uses vaccines when they meet the required standards of safety and effectiveness. While the work to develop COVID-19 vaccines has moved much faster than usual, the vaccines you are been offered has gone through all the usual steps needed to develop and approve a safe and effective vaccine.

To be approved for use, the COVID-19 vaccines went through all the clinical trials and safety checks all other licensed medicines go through, following international standards of safety.

There are 4 different vaccines that have been approved in Ireland currently: Comirnaty®, Moderna®, Vaxzevria®COVID‐19 Vaccine AstraZeneca & COVID‐19 Vaccine Janssen®.

They have all been tested with thousands of people as part of clinical trials, have met strict standards of safety, quality, and effectiveness, and been approved and licensed by regulators. For Ireland, the regulator is the European Medicines Agency (EMA) – visit www.ema.europa.eu for more information.

What COVID-19 vaccine am I being offered?

You will not get to choose which vaccine you get. The type of vaccine offered to you will be based on supply.

All the vaccines we use are safe and will help to protect you from serious illness or death from COVID-19. The best vaccine to get is the one you are offered.

How long does it take the COVID-19 vaccine to work?

After receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, most people will have immunity. This means they will be protected against COVID-19.

Vaccine recipients may not be protected until:

  • 7 days after the second dose of COVID-19 Pfizer/BioNTech Comirnaty®
  • 14 days after the second dose of COVID‐19 Vaccine Moderna®
  • 15 days after the second dose of Vaxzevria® COVID‐19 Vaccine AstraZeneca (however, protection starts three weeks after the first dose)
  • 14 days after COVID‐19 Vaccine Janssen®

Clinical trial follow‐up is on‐going to determine the length of protection from COVID‐19 vaccines. 

There is a chance you might still get COVID-19, even if you have the vaccine.

How long does immunity last from the vaccine?

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

More information

For more information, read the manufacturer’s Patient Information Leaflet. This will be printed for you on the day you get your vaccine, or you can find it on www.hse.ie/covid19vaccinePIL.

You can visit the HSE website at www.hse.ie/covid19vaccine or call HSELive on 1850 24 1850.

For more information on the COVID-19 vaccine, including materials in other formats and translation support, visit www.hse.ie/covid19vaccinematerials.


FAQ

COVID-19 is an illness that can affect your lungs and airways, and sometimes other parts of your body. It is caused by a virus called coronavirus.

COVID-19 is highly infectious. It spreads through the air through droplets produced when people cough or sneeze, or when they touch surfaces where the droplets have landed and then touch their eyes, nose, or mouth. COVID-19 can cause serious illness, hospitalisation and even death.

Common symptoms of COVID-19 include:

  • a fever (high temperature of 38 degrees Celsius or above)
  • a new cough – this can be any kind of cough, not just dry
  • shortness of breath or breathing difficulties
  • loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you have noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or they smell or taste differently

You may not have all these symptoms, or you may just feel generally less well than usual. It can take up to 14 days for symptoms to show. They can be similar to symptoms of cold or flu.

If you have any symptoms of COVID-19, self-isolate (stay in your room) and phone a GP (Doctor). They can arrange a COVID-19 test for you.

For more information on COVID-19, please visit www.hse.ie/coronavirus or call HSELive on 1850 24 1850

Vaccines teach your immune system how to protect you from diseases. It is much safer for your immune system to learn this through vaccination than by catching the diseases and attempting to treat them. Vaccines can reduce or even eradicate some diseases if enough people are vaccinated.

The long-term response to the pandemic requires a safe and effective vaccine to be available for all who need it. It is a way to keep you, your friends and family safe, potentially leading to lifting of restrictions.

The Government will let you know when it is your turn and how to get your vaccine through advertising or direct invitation.

You will need to read this leaflet and the manufacturer’s Patient Information Leaflet before you get the vaccine. You can find the COVID-19 Vaccine manufacturer’s Patient Information Leaflet on: www.hse.ie/covid19vaccinePIL

You can also talk to a healthcare professional in advance. If you decide to get the vaccine, you will give your consent, which will be recorded.

The HSE is offering the vaccine free of charge.

No. The COVID-19 vaccine cannot give you COVID-19. It is possible to have caught COVID-19 before getting your vaccine and not realise you have the symptoms until after your vaccination appointment.

If you have any symptoms of COVID-19, it is important to self-isolate (stay in your room) and arrange a free test to find out if you have COVID-19.

If you have a fever which starts more than two days after you get the vaccine, or lasts longer than two days, you should self-isolate and ask a GP (Doctor) to arrange a COVID-19 test for you.

If you have COVID-19 symptoms after the first dose, you still need to have the second dose. While you may get some protection from the first dose, having the second dose will give you the best protection against the virus.

Yes. Even if you have already had COVID-19, you could still get it again. The vaccine will reduce your risk of getting COVID-19 again. Even if you do get COVID-19 again, the vaccine can reduce the seriousness of your symptoms.

No. You should delay getting vaccinated until you recover from COVID-19.

Do this for:

  • at least four weeks after you first notice symptoms or
  • four weeks since you tested positive for COVID-19

No. You should delay getting the vaccine if you have a fever (temperature of 38 degrees Celsius or above), until you feel better

You can get the COVID-19 vaccine if you are breastfeeding.

Talk to your obstetrician, midwife or GP about getting your COVID-19 vaccine if you are pregnant.It's recommended you get your COVID-19 vaccine when it's offered to you. Being vaccinated will reduce the chance of you becoming very unwell.

It may also reduce the chance of complications during pregnancy. If you are seriously ill with COVID-19 during pregnancy, complications can include premature labour or stillbirths linked to COVID placentitis.

Doses during pregnancy

  • When you get your COVID-19 vaccine, you will need 2 doses.
  • The 1st dose should be at or after 14 weeks of pregnancy.
  • The 2nd dose should be before the end of 36 weeks of pregnancy.
  • If the 2nd dose is not given by the end of 36 weeks, it should be delayed until after you have your baby. This is because you may get a fever after the 2nd dose.

As with all vaccines, you can report suspected side effects to the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA).

The HPRA is the regulatory authority in the Republic of Ireland for medicines, medical devices, and other health products. As part of its role in the safety monitoring of medicines, the HPRA operates a system through which healthcare professionals or members of the public can report any suspected adverse reactions (side effects) associated with medicines and vaccines which have occurred in Ireland.

The HPRA strongly encourages reporting of suspected adverse reactions (side effects) associated with Covid-19 vaccines to support continuous monitoring of their safe and effective use. To report a suspected adverse reaction to the Covid-19 vaccine, please visit www.hpra.ie/report.

You can also ask your Doctor, or a family member to report this for you.

As much information as is known should be provided, and where possible, the vaccine batch number should be included.

The HPRA cannot provide clinical advice on individual cases. Members of the public should contact their healthcare professional (their Doctor or Pharmacist) with any medical concerns they may have.

No. The COVID-19 vaccines being used produce a protective immune, antibody, response which can be measured by serology blood tests. They do not affect a PCR swab test, which is the basis of diagnosing COVID-19 infection by detecting viral RNA in the nose and throat. They also do not affect the results of Lateral Flow Device (LFD) tests. PCR tests will be used as part of the vaccine effectiveness assessment in those who are vaccinated and subsequently develop symptoms of COVID-19.

Gluten is a family of proteins found in certain cereal grains. The COVID-19 vaccines currently available do not contain gluten.

We do not know yet if having the vaccine stops you spreading the COVID-19 virus to others. That is why it is important that we all continue to follow public health advice on how to stop the spread of the virus.

You still need to:

  • follow social distancing guidelines (keep two metres apart from others where possible)
  • wear a face covering
  • wash your hands regularly

When a high proportion of a population receive an effective vaccine, it becomes difficult for the disease to spread, this gives protection to vulnerable people such as newborn babies and other people who cannot be vaccinated, which is known as herd immunity.

 It is not clear what proportion of people would be required to be vaccinated for COVID-19 to achieve this because the vaccines against the disease are new and COVID-19 is a global pandemic infection. Therefore, the best protection you can have is to have the vaccination when you are invited to attend and to continue to follow measures to reduce spread like social distancing, hand and respiratory hygiene and face coverings where advised.