The HSE has distanced itself from comments made by one of its senior doctors.
Dr Martin Feeley, the clinical director of the Dublin Midlands Hospital Group, said that COVID-19 is "much less severe" than the average annual flu.
He also said that the current "draconian" restrictions are no longer justified and that people who are at low risk should be exposed to the virus so they can develop herd immunity.
Dr Feeley, who made the remarks in an interview with The Irish Times today, also said that the public and the media were "obsessed" with daily coronavirus figures.
In a statement, the health service said it "dissociates itself from and rejects the comments" made by Dr Feeley.
Dr Colm Henry, Chief Clinical Officer for the HSE said that "for the avoidance of any doubt", the position as stated by Dr Feeley "is not the position of the HSE on this important subject”.
The HSE statement continued: "This is a novel coronavirus for which there is no cure or vaccination currently and against which our population have no immunity.
"Herd immunity for an infectious disease occurs when a sufficient proportion of the population develops a sustained immunity either through vaccination or previous infection.
"Relying on infection, as we now know, has the power to overwhelm healthcare systems and lead to large-scale illness and death, particularly in vulnerable populations.
It added: "According to the WHO, the threshold for establishing herd immunity is not yet clear. Neither is the duration of post-infection immunity known."
The most effective way of protecting older people and vulnerable groups "is not by expecting them to protect themselves, but by everybody adhering to the public health advice".
It comes as Ireland's 14-day incidence rate of COVID-19 per 100,000 people has increased by more than a third in the past seven days.
New figures from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control puts the country's average at 40.6, while it was 29.6 last Saturday.
The UK is now at 45.1 while Germany is at 21.1.