Covid-19 Community Support Response Page


 

People aged 65 years and over are now eligible for their second COVID-19 booster vaccine. Those with a weak immune system aged 12 and over can also get their second booster, when it is due. Those who are due their second COVID-19 booster vaccine can:

The HSE encourages everyone in these two groups who has already had their first booster to get their second booster dose when they become eligible. This second booster will give you the best protection from serious illness caused by COVID-19.

If you have a weak immune system

People aged 12 years and older who have a weak immune system previously had one additional dose of vaccine and were also offered a first booster dose earlier in 2022. Most people in this group are not yet due to have a second booster, and the HSE will issue SMS reminders to people in this group as their second boosters become due over the coming weeks. Clinicians will also be identifying people who have become immunocompromised recently to be added to this group.

Interval between first and second booster

If you are 65 or over, you should get your second booster at least 4 months (at least 120 days) after your first booster. You can check the date of your last booster on your digital COVID-19 certificate.

If you have had COVID-19 in the last 4 months

You should get your second booster dose at least 4 months after your positive test result or when your symptoms started

Going to the vaccination centre

Please bring a photo ID with you. Examples of ID include passport, driver’s licence, Garda age card, student/school ID etc. but if your ID does not include your date of birth, please bring proof of your date of birth (e.g. your birth cert).

What vaccine will I get?

If you are 30 years or older you will be offered a single booster dose of the Moderna COVID 19 vaccine at the HSE vaccination centres and over the coming weeks from GPs and Pharmacies. If you are 29 years or younger, we will offer you a single dose of the Pfizer vaccine. These are mRNA vaccines. NIAC has recommended people are given a mRNA vaccine for this second booster dose, and it is safe to receive if you previously had a different vaccine.

If you have not had your first booster yet

Everyone aged 12 and over can still get their first booster and are invited to come forward and book an appointment at a HSE vaccination centre.

Video explaining second booster

You can watch this video with Dr Eimear Hayes, Senior Medical Officer from the HSE National Immunisation Office. In the video Dr Hayes answers questions about the second booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine for people aged 12 and older who have a weak immune system and those aged 65 and older and explains their recommended COVID-19 vaccination course. Information about the recommended vaccine schedule for COVID-19 is available from the National Immunisation Office Website.

 

 

 

 

With effect from Monday 28 February:

  • the mandatory requirement to wear masks will be removed, while the public health advice that masks should continue to be worn on public transport and in healthcare settings remains
  • advice in relation to COVID-19 symptoms, cases and close contacts is changing
  • critical components of our collective response remain – rapid isolation if you are symptomatic, completing your vaccination course, continuing to manage risk for yourself and others who are more vulnerable

Omicron is still with us so there are critical components which still require our collective response:

  • 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 including by wearing masks, physical distancing and avoiding crowds as well as basic hand and respiratory hygiene

If you have a confirmed COVID-19 Infection:

Age Mask you should wear Isolation
13 years and older Medical grade or FFP2 for 10 days 7 days
0-12 years Well-fitted mask (9–12yrs) for 10 days 7 days

 

If you have symptoms of COVID-19

If you are aged aged 55 years and older AND unboosted -Self isolate and get a PCR test. Follow public health advice on test result.

If you have a high-risk medical condition – Self isolate and get a PCR test. Follow public health advice on test result.

If you are immunocompromised –  Self isolate and get a PCR test. Follow public health advice on test result.

If you live in the same household as a person who is immunocompromised -Self isolate and get a PCR test. Follow public health advice on test result.

If you provide care or support for person they know to be immunocompromised-Self isolate and get a PCR test. Follow public health advice on test result.

If you are pregnant -Self isolate and get a PCR test. Follow public health advice on test result.

All others – No test required but self-isolate until 48 hours after symptoms resolve

 

If you are a Close Contact

If you are a healthcare worker identified as a household close contact – Repeat antigen testing is required, unless you have recovered from COVID-19 in previous 3 months.

All other close contacts – No test required if not symptomatic, self-isolate if symptoms develop

COVID-19 Testing

Find out how to get tested and what to do if you test positive for COVID-19 (click on the link below)

HSE Testing for COVID-19

 

COVID-19 Vaccination Programme

You can find the latest information on vaccines administered here.

 

Find a pharmacy giving COVID-19 vaccines

Many pharmacies are now offering COVID-19 vaccines to people aged 12 and over. Find a pharmacy to book your vaccine appointment. You can find more information here.

 

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:

 

 

Free flu vaccine for all 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. The HSE encourages all at-risk groups to make an appointment with their GP or Pharmacist for their free flu vaccine. People at risk include those aged 50 or over, children aged 2 to 17, people with certain long term conditions, pregnant women and healthcare workers. It’s the best way to be protected from the flu. Find a participating pharmacy.

 

 

The HSE phone number for all queries in relation to medical cards, GP visit cards, Drugs Payment Scheme and Long Term Illness scheme has changed

The HSE phone number for all queries in relation to medical cards, GP visit cards, Drugs Payment Scheme and Long Term Illness scheme has changed. Please call 0818 22 44 78 to make enquiries.

 

Needing support for grief?

If you, or a loved one, are grieving or bereaved and need some extra help at the moment, the HSE and Irish Hospice Foundation have information and support available, which are outlined in our article in thejournal.ie

 

 

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.

 

 

‘Someone is always there to listen to you’

The Resource Officers for Suicide Prevention in the HSE Midlands Louth Meath Community Healthcare
Organisation Josephine Rigney and Eddie Ward are aware of the impacts of Covid-19 on people’s mental health – it is a worrying and anxious time, with many things happening outside our control. What we can control though is recognising and being aware of our own feelings and reactions and responding to our individual needs whether these needs are emotional or physical.

The next few weeks are likely to be busy and stressful so it is very important that we stay in tune and take good care of ourselves and each other if and when we need to. Take the time to eat healthily, make some time for exercise and relaxation, get out for a walk, connect in with others and create and maintain social interactions in our lives with those who are dear to us.

At any time, any one of us can feel vulnerable and this is particularly true in a time of uncertainty such as now. It is reassuring to know that there is support available in this regard. We can get this support initially from our family members, close friends or colleagues and whilst it may take some courage to start a conversation and share how you are feeling, it is important that you give yourself the opportunity to know that people care and love you and you can then start to feel more hopeful about your future. Support is also available from the many organisations and services that are outlined below. Be assured that someoneis always there to listen to you, all day, every day, 24 hours a day.

 

We can all make a difference to the lives of those around us and who we care about. If you are concerned or know thatsomeone might be struggling to cope or is feeling distressed, find some space and time to sit and talk and be present withthem. Use some open questions to help them to talk and tell them that you care
about them. If they share things with you, listen – stay calm, be patient and kind. You don’t need to have all the answers or the solutions. It can be really valuable for a person just to know that they are heard
and they are not alone at a difficult time. Advise them about the many services that are there to support them and if necessary, help them to make an initial call. If you would like to be more confident in your skills to
support those you may be concerned about, a free 1½ hrs online training programme (LivingWorks Start) is
available by contacting Josephine or Eddie through their contact details below. A 2hrs ‘Introduction to Self-Harm’ programme is also available.

Unfortunately, we may know someone who has been bereaved over the past year or so. A bereavement journey is not easy and some people may benefit from support with their grief. For those who have experienced bereavement through a suspected suicide, Pieta provide a support service for family members, friends and colleagues. This service is available in theMidlands from Bernie Carroll, email: bernie.carroll@pieta.ie; Mobile: 086 418 0088, and in Louth/Meath from Marian King, email: marian.king@pieta.ie;(Mobile: 085 738 0444).

For bereavements from other causes, the National Bereavement Support Line is available from 10am – 1pm, Monday to Friday.

 

The following services offer more specific information and support:
Hospice Foundation
Childhood Bereavement
www.bereaved.ie;
Barnardos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

COVID Tracker App now available to download

The HSE has created a free smartphone app to help improve contact tracing for COVID-19. The app will make contact tracing faster and more accurate, reducing the spread of coronavirus. Nearly 500,000 people have already downloaded the app today.

If you use the app, you can:

  • get an alert if you have been in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19
  • alert others if you test positive for coronavirus – this will help keep other people safe
  • track your symptoms and get advice on what to do if you’re sick
  • get regular updates, and protect yourself and others as we learn to live with COVID-19

The app protects your privacy and you keep control of your information. It exchanges secure, anonymous records via Bluetooth when people using it are in close contact with each other. It will never identify you to other app users and you cannot access each other’s information.

You can find an information leaflet with more detail that you can share with your own networks here.

The COVID tracker app will help us to track and stop the spread of COVID-19 as we continue to re-open services and communities. It goes hand in hand with the other important steps we can all take.   Everyone should continue to wash hands regularly, cover coughs and sneezes, keep our 2m distance and use face coverings when we can’t.

Thanks in advance for your support – the more people who download and use the app, the more it will help to reduce the spread of COVID-19. The COVID Tracker app is available on www.covidtracker.ie, or in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store now.

 

Citizens Information Service

Citizens Information Service (CIS) can be accessed via their website at www.citizensinformation.ie

Contact a CIS in your local town or county by selecting ‘Find a Centre’.  You can contact the Citizens Information Phone Service on 0761 07 4000 (Monday to Friday) 9am to 8pm.’

 

Bereavement Support Counselling

A Confidential Counselling Support Service for family members and concerned persons bereaved during the COVID-19 pandemic is available from the HSE National Counselling Service (NCS).

This service will provide:

  • Information on Bereavement
  • Support for family members and concerned others who are experiencing distress
  • Referral to other appropriate services

TO REQUEST THE COUNSELLING SUPPORT SERVICE PHONE:

Midlands 057-9370605 or email cipcmidlands@hse.ie
Louth/Meath 046-9027303 or email CIPC.NE@hse.ie

Please email out of hours. Self-referrals welcome. For referrals by a health professional please obtain consent to share information.

Bereavement Support Counselling NCS

 

 

Irish Hospice Foundation COVID-19 Care & Inform Team

Are you caring for a loved one at home, or has someone you love died? Information and support is available through the Irish Hospice Foundation
Freephone 1800 80 70 77, Monday to Friday, 10am – 1pm or go to https://hospicefoundation.ie/covid19careandinform/