Information for Patients on COVID-19

This page was updated on: 17 December 2021

It is important that everyone has access to accurate information about the virus, understands what protections to take and follows the public health recommendations from the Department of Health and the HSE. We aim to keep this page updated as we liaise with the public health authorities.

Public Health Information

The HSE website has useful and important information for the public, including overview of symptoms and how to engage with the health services if you have concerns. It also includes the protections and precautions we all need to take, and information for people who may be more vulnerable to the virus. It is important that we are all getting our information from reliable places – visit the HSE and Department of Health websites, speak to your pharmacist or GP, and listen to the radio and television notices about what needs to be done to contain the spread of Coronavirus.

There are general principles you can follow to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:

  • Regular hand washing
  • Cover your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing with a tissue
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces in the home and work environment

For older people the ALONE support network is providing a telephone support line, seven days a week from 8am – 8pm 0818 222 024. You can contact HSE Live 1800 700 700 for information and advice on health services.

COVID-19 Vaccination Programme - Community Pharmacies

There is no need to register through the HSE online portal to receive a COVID-19 vaccine in a community pharmacy. If you wish to receive your vaccine in a community pharmacy, you need to book an appointment with a participating pharmacist. A list of pharmacies giving the COVID-19 vaccines, and booster vaccinations, is available on the HSE website.

Pharmacy Services

Your pharmacist will be able to provide you with accurate and reliable information, and to ensure the safe and appropriate use of medicines. At this time in particular they will be guided by Ireland’s public health authorities, including the Department of Health and the HSE.

Like the rest of the health service, pharmacies are under pressure to ensure ongoing and safe care. There will be differences in how services are delivered or in the way you get your medicines at this time. We suggest that you contact your pharmacy for more information about how the pharmacy will continue to operate during COVID-19. For example, this might include reduced opening hours, ways on how to re-order and collect your prescription, arrangements to accommodate social distancing that have been implemented in line with Government guidelines and delivery of medicines.

If you do not have someone to go on your behalf for your medicines, you can talk to your pharmacy about getting medicines delivered. There is a checklist for patients in this guidance about home delivery of medicines during this time.

It remains important to have a phone call with your pharmacist or doctor if you have any concern about the medicine you are taking and how to take it.

For general information about what you can expect from your community pharmacist, read our Patient Charter

My Medicines and COVID-19

It is important to follow public health guidelines if you think you have symptoms of the Coronavirus. Do not go directly to the pharmacy or to the GP if you are concerned that you have the virus. You may infect others if you do this. Please read the HSE advice on what to do if you have symptoms.

The HSE website has useful information about the treatment of COVID-19 symptoms including the use of medicines. It has advice on the continued use of medicines if you have an existing condition. If you have symptoms of the virus it is important to take any medication you are already taking as usual, unless you are told not to by a healthcare professional. With all medicines you are taking, it remains very important to read the patient information leaflet.

Pharmacists will be working to ensure that there is supply of medicines available to those who need them, balancing the interests of their patients and wider society. It is important not to stockpile medicines. Doing this will affect the existing stocks of medicines that are available in Ireland and may impact on the care of others.

Information resources

To support the sharing of accurate and up-to-date information on COVID-19, we strongly recommend that you visit these websites frequently as the most appropriate sources for the latest and most relevant information, guidance and resources available: