The HSE's traditional media advertising spend almost tripled in 2020.
Freedom of Information requests show COVID campaigns accounted for 60% of the €8.1m euro spent on advertising by the HSE last year.
The HSE usually spends money on advertising campaigns, such as those for vaccines, quitting smoking, healthy eating and cancer screening.
Last year however, the pandemic saw a large additional spend on COVID-19 informational campaigns.
In terms of traditional media, the spending on television advertising increased by 394%, from just over €766,000 in 2019 to more than €3.7 million in 2020.
On radio, there was a 101% increase in advertising spending, from €1.5m 2019 to just over €3.1m in 2020.
Printed media also saw a rise of 114%; however, that came from a much lower base – increasing from €207,000 in 2019 to €443,000 last year.
Spending on outdoor advertising increased by 96% from €393,000 to €772,000.
The HSE said the aim of its paid media campaigns was “to reach as many of the relevant population as possible with vital and rapidly evolving public health messages and behaviour change campaigns.”
“Communicating with the public, listening to their needs and giving accurate and easy-to-follow health advice is considered a central part of any country's pandemic response plan,” it said.
Meanwhile, the spend on social media advertising jumped by 137% to over €295,000 as the HSE attempted to get COVID information out to a younger audience.
The majority of that (€220,000) was spent on Facebook and Instagram – with Tik Tok taking in €38,000 from the HSE.