Vaccine Queue Calculator for Ireland
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected every country in the world, changing the lives of all of us. In Ireland, the number of casualties has already exceeded 2,300, not to mention the country's economic loss. We all think this virus has been our guest for way too long - but what can we do about it? The most effective way to battle this kind of enemy is to create a vaccine against it 💉. Multiple companies have been in a race since COVID-19 was discovered to do just that, and some of them eventually succeeded 💪.
Yes, we now have the awaited defence against COVID-19!
Since there are 4,904,000 people in Ireland, not everybody can get vaccinated immediately. It raises a whole load of new questions:
- Who will be first in the queue to get the vaccine?
- When are you likely to be offered it?
We created this calculator to deliver all the answers to both of these crucial questions. The vaccine queue calculator for Ireland will estimate how many people are ahead of you in the queue to get a COVID vaccine in Ireland. It also predicts how long you might have to wait to get your vaccine. By using our tool, you'll have a better idea of when you can expect to get vaccinated.
We've based our vaccine queue calculator on the provisional vaccine allocation groups published by the Department of Health and the likely rate of vaccination.
Who gets the vaccine first? - The priority list
It's great that we now have COVID vaccines that have been approved for general use. However, that's not the end of the COVID story just yet. Millions of doses of vaccines now have to be produced and injected into the arms of people. That is one massive manufacturing, logistical, and time-consuming task for everyone involved. It is all going to take time.
The Irish government has published a priority list of groups that will get a COVID vaccine. Let's take a look at the list:
- People aged 65 years and older who are residents of long-term care facilities (likely to include all staff and residents on-site)
- Frontline healthcare workers
- People aged 70 and older
- Other healthcare workers not in direct patient contact
- People aged 65-69
- Key workers*
- People aged 18-64 with certain medical conditions**
- Residents of long-term care facilities aged 18-64
- People aged 18-64 living or working in crowded settings
- Key workers in essential jobs who cannot avoid a high risk of exposure
- People working in the education sector
- People aged 55-64
- Other workers in occupations important to the functioning of society
- Other people aged 18-54
- People aged under 18 and pregnant women
* These include workers essential to the vaccination programme, although the specifics are to be refined later on. The Economic and Social Research Institute applies the term to people working in the following areas (apart from healthcare):
- Armed forces;
- Defence and public administration;
- Retail sales; and
- Transport operatives.
** If you are not sure, here is a list of conditions that automatically qualify you in this group:
- Chronic heart disease (including hypertension with cardiac involvement);
- Chronic respiratory disease (including asthma requiring continuous or repeated use of systemic steroids or with previous exacerbations requiring hospital admission);
- Type 1 and 2 diabetes;
- Chronic neurological disease;
- Chronic kidney disease;
- Body mass index >40;
- Immunosuppression due to disease or treatment; and
- Chronic liver disease.
How to use the vaccine queue calculator for Ireland?
Follow these steps to calculate your likely place in the COVID vaccine queue. The first section is all about you:
- Enter your age in years. Generally, the older you are, the sooner you'll be called up to have the vaccine.
- Say whether you live or work in a long-term care facility. If everyone in a long-term care facility is vaccinated, that will allow relatives to visit with decreased risk to the residents.
- Are you pregnant, or are you planning to be in the next three months? If the answer is yes, the vaccine makers are not currently recommending you have a COVID vaccine until more trial data is released. Nevertheless, the Irish government lists pregnant women in the last priority group for vaccination.
- Are you a healthcare worker (e.g., nurse, doctor, etc.)? If so, are you at the front line? This group is likely to have a lot of exposure to the virus and need to be protected.
- Do you live or work in a crowded setting? For instance, do you live in a multi-generational household where the burden of infection would be higher?
- Are you a key worker providing services essential to the vaccination programme (for example, logistical support)? The specific sectors that fall under this category will be specified later on, although be sure to check the list in the above section.
- Have you got one of these underlying health conditions mentioned in the list above?
You will then see an estimate of the minimum and the maximum number of people who are inline to receive the vaccine before you. We also indicate how long it might be before you get both doses of the vaccine and get maximum immunity, based on the vaccination rate. By default, we base these figures on a vaccination rate of 42,000 vaccination a week and a default uptake rate of 74% (not everyone who is asked to receive the vaccine will accept it). If you want to change these values, you can do it in the Rollout of vaccines section of the calculator.
We know that waiting to get the vaccine might be frustrating. However, by prioritising those who are most at risk of hospitalisation and death, we should quickly save lives with this fantastic new weapon against the virus.
Who shouldn't be vaccinated?
COVID-19 vaccination is not recommended only in one case which is children under 16 years old 👶👦👧
It shouldn't surprise or raise any doubts, since new drugs are usually tested on adults first. However, the Irish government mentions people under 18 in the last, 15th priority group, along with pregnant women since with more available studies, these contraindications might change.
Are COVID-19 vaccines safe?
COVID-19 vaccines have been approved by the European Medicines Agency and passed all their safety tests. However, as with any approved drug on the market, you may experience side effects. Generally, though, the risk of side effects is much smaller than the possible consequences of a nasty COVID-19 infection.
These side effects include pain at the injection site, tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, joint pain, and fever. Some people might also have injection site swelling and redness, and nausea. Very rarely, people feel unwell and have enlarged lymph nodes.
How many shots of the COVID-19 vaccine will I need?
Nearly all COVID-19 vaccines approved or under development need two shots to be effective. The doses need to be around 3 to 12 weeks apart, depending on the vaccine.
I'm pregnant or breastfeeding. Can I get vaccinated?
Currently, clinical trials have not yet provided data on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines in pregnant women. At the same time, there is no information on contraindications to the vaccination during pregnancy. Furthermore, the Irish government mentioned pregnant women in the last, 15th priority group along with people under 18 years old.
🤰 The decision to vaccinate should be made by the pregnant woman, after clarification of possible doubts with the doctor.
👶 There is no need to interrupt or avoid the initiation of breastfeeding by women who have received COVID-19 vaccine.
Women planning to become pregnant in the near future are advised to take the vaccination. The vaccine has not been shown to affect fertility.
Do I still need to wear a mask after I am vaccinated?
Yes, you need to wear a mask. At this stage, it is still unclear whether the current vaccine will also prevent the transmission of the virus to people around you. It is similar to the current situation where people have COVID-19 but suffer no symptoms. However, they are still able to transmit it to others. It may be only until a good majority of people have been vaccinated that restrictions to our daily lives are lifted.
For flu, experts say the herd immunity should be achieved when around 70% of the population gets vaccinated, so that is the current working theory for COVID-19.
If I've had COVID-19, do I need to be vaccinated?
Yes. If you have had COVID-19, then your body will have some natural immunity to it, preventing you from suffering from it again. However, some early evidence suggests this natural immunity might not last very long. While we also don't know precisely how long the vaccine's protection lasts, it could be better than your natural immunity. It will undoubtedly extend the time you are resistant to COVID-19.
Will there be enough vaccine for everyone?
Certainly not at the moment, but eventually, yes. Pfizer alone plans to produce 1.3 billion doses of its vaccine in 2021. As further vaccines are approved and manufactured, more supply will come on stream to meet the world's demand.