Get the vaccine — not the flu

The HSE has urged people in at-risk groups to get vaccinated against influenza. Flu can be a very serious illness, especially for people who are older or who have a long-term illness.

The flu season is here and the following groups of at-risk people need to be vaccinated against seasonal influenza: everyone aged 65 years and over; anyone over six months of age with a long term illness requiring regular medical follow-up; pregnant women; those with lower immunity due to disease or treatment; children or teenagers on long-term aspirin therapy; residents of nursing homes and other long stay facilities and healthcare workers and carers.

Even if you received the vaccine last year, it is still important for all those in the at risk groups to be vaccinated again this year as immunity from the vaccine only lasts for up to 12 months and wanes over time.

This year new regulations have been introduced by the Government to allow pharmacists to give the flu vaccine. The vaccine is available free of charge from GPs and pharmacists to all those in the at-risk groups.

The HSE’s dedicated immunisation website — www.immunisation.ie — provides details on the annual flu vaccination and the pneumococcal vaccine, along with answers to any questions people may have about flu. Information leaflets are available to download. Information leaflets are also available in GP surgeries, pharmacists and HSE local health offices.

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