Seasonal Flu Vaccine Information
There has been an increase in the number of cases of flu recently.
Flu is a very infectious and potentially serious illness and a new flu vaccine must be given each year.
Flu can cause severe illness and can even be life threatening for older people, those who have a long term illness and pregnant women.
Flu is a highly infectious acute respiratory illness caused by the influenza virus. Influenza affects people of all ages. Outbreaks of flu occur almost every year, usually in winter. This is why it is also known as seasonal flu.
Flu can be prevented by vaccination. Flu vaccine is a safe, effective way to help prevent flu infection, avoiding hospitalisation, reducing flu related deaths and illnesses.
Get the vaccine, not the flu!
The HSE is urging people in at-risk groups to get vaccinated against influenza.
Vaccination is strongly recommended for
- persons aged 65 and older
- those with a long term medical condition such as diabetes. heart, kidney, lung or neurological disease
- people whose immune system is impaired due to disease or treatment
- persons with a Body Mass Index (BMI) over 40
- pregnant women (at any stage in pregnancy)
- residents of nursing homes and other long stay institutions
- people with regular close contact with poultry, water fowl or pigs
- health care workers
If you are in one of the at risk groups and have not had your flu vaccine, contact your GP or pharmacist to get the vaccine NOW
If you are 65 or over or have a long term medical condition you should also ask your doctor about the pneumococcal vaccine.
The HSE provides the flu and pneumococcal vaccine free of charge for all those in the at-risk groups.
Those aged 18 years or older in the at risk groups may attend either their GP or pharmacist for vaccination and those under 18 years should attend their GP.
The vaccine and consultation are free for those with a Medical Card or GP Visit Card.
Those without a Medical Card or GP Visit Card will be charged a consultation fee.