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AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

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AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

Last Updated on 1 year by Dan

The official name of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine is ‘Vaxzevria’. But most people call it ‘AstraZeneca’.


You will need 2 doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

You should get your second dose 4 to 12 weeks after your first dose.


Vaccines teach your immune system how to protect you from diseases.

It takes 3 weeks, after getting the first dose, for the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to work.

You will have the best protection from COVID-19 after the second dose.

Read more about immunity after the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccine bonus

28 days after your first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, you can follow the same ‘vaccine bonus’ advice as fully vaccinated people. This does not include foreign travel and does not apply if you are told you are close contactof a confirmed case of COVID-19.

You still need to get your second dose to make sure that your vaccine protection lasts.

Read about the vaccine bonus


The AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine was developed in line with international standards of safety.

It has been tested with thousands of people as part of clinical trials.

Read more about the safety of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

Side effects

Like all medicines, vaccines can cause side effects. Most of these are mild to moderate and short-term.

Not everyone gets side effects.

Read more about side effects after the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

Which vaccine is best

All vaccines are tested for safety and effectiveness before they can be used. The HSE only uses a vaccine if it meets the required standards of safety and effectiveness.

You should get any vaccine that is offered to you.

Read more about COVID-19 vaccine development

If you are pregnant

If you have not been given a vaccine yet, you will be offered a different COVID-19 vaccine to the AstraZeneca vaccine.

If you have already had your first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, you should still get your second dose.

You will be at greater risk of severe illness if you do not get your second dose.
Being fully vaccinated will reduce the chance of you becoming very unwell.

Read more about COVID-19 vaccines in pregnancy

If you are breastfeeding

There is no known reason to avoid the vaccine if you are breastfeeding.

Read more about COVID-19 vaccines if you are breastfeeding

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