Older people urged to protect themselves against flu this winter

The HSE is asking people to come forward and get their free flu vaccine is if is recommended for them.

The flu vaccine will help protect those most at risk of serious illness from flu.

Who should get the free flu vaccine?

This year the free flu vaccine is recommended for you if you are in one of these groups:

· Aged 65 and over.

· A health care worker.

· A child aged two to 17.

· At any stage of pregnancy.

· People with certain medical conditions which put them at increased risk from the complications of flu.

For a full list of recommended groups visit hse.ie/flu

Those aged 65 and over

If you’re 65 or over you are at higher risk of serious illness or complications such as pneumonia if you get the flu.

This 2021-2022 flu season the flu vaccine being offered to people aged over 65 is called Fluad Tetra *.

This is an adjuvanted vaccine. That means it contains an ingredient that stimulates the immune system, making it more effective against flu in older people. It is being offered in Ireland for the first time this year, but a similar vaccine has been used for several years in various countries including the UK and USA.

Those aged 65 years and over can contact their GP or local pharmacy to make an appointment.

People aged 65 year and over who live in long-term residential care facilities will be offered this vaccine where they live.

Healthcare workers

If you are a healthcare worker, flu vaccination is important to protect yourself and to prevent the spread of the flu to colleagues, families and patients.

The majority of healthcare workers are being offered their flu vaccine at work or through some GPs and pharmacies. Healthcare workers aged 65 or over can go to their GP or pharmacist to get the vaccine that is recommended for them.

“Flu is a serious illness. Although the severity of the flu season can vary, we know that people aged 65 and over are most likely to impacted and have an increased likelihood of severe illness, being admitted into hospital or dying from flu when compared to the general population. The flu vaccine is the best protection against flu this winter," Dr Aparna Keegan, Specialist in Public Health Medicine and Flu Lead, HSE National Immunisation Office, said.

 

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