New vaccine questions podcast

The Health Research Board and Royal Irish Academy have teamed up to bring you a podcast series on vaccines and vaccination featuring experts and scientists from around Ireland.

Image of a needle filled with a vaccine and pointing towards a question mark

In each episode of Vaccine Questions, science journalist Dick Ahlstrom chats with experts from public health, immunology and virology to statistics, bioethics and behavioural science about how science is helping us to tackle the spread of coronavirus. By asking these experts your questions on vaccines and vaccination the podcast aims to provide the public with a reliable source of information on these topics.

In our first episode Dick spoke to immunologist Luke O’Neill, MRIA about the first COVID-19 vaccines given on the island of Ireland in December and why the rapid development of these vaccines is such an amazing achievement for science. They discussed the scientific and regulatory process in involved in vaccine approval and Luke answered people’s questions about the safety of vaccination for them and their loved ones.

Episode 2 will be released on Wednesday 3 February and features Professor Philip Nolan, Chair of the Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group to NPHET, and Dr Gerald Barry, Assistant Professor of Virology, at University College Dublin. Dick asks Philip to explain the numbers we hear on the news, how predictions about case numbers are made, and whether they might be able to predict when vaccination will help life get back to normal. Dr Gerald Barry answers some listener questions.

Available on Soundcloud, Spotify, Apple Podcasts and all major listening apps.

Participate in the podcast series

Do you have questions about the coronavirus vaccines or vaccination in general? Please email them to along with your name and location.

In some cases, you may be asked to give your name and location as you provide your question, unless you state otherwise. Your contact details will never be shared. Please ensure you have read the RIA data privacy policy.

This series is organised by the RIA Life and Medical Sciences Committee in partnership with the Health Research Board.