The Health Service Executive is reminding everyone at risk of influenza this winter to get the vaccine, not the flu.
In Ireland the National Immunisation Advisory Committee has recommended that the following groups of at-risk people need to be vaccinated for seasonal influenza — everyone aged 65 and older, children and adults with long-term illnesses such as asthma, heart problems, etc, including those who attend schools or day centres for people with disabilities, as well as health care staff and carers. In addition, healthy pregnant women and women up to six weeks after giving birth who have not previously received the swine flu vaccine are urged to get the seasonal flu vaccination this year as they are at a higher risk of complications from swine flu. Pregnant women who have a long-term medical condition such as diabetes, heart or lung disease need to get the seasonal flu vaccine, even if they have already had the swine flu vaccine.
The HSE’s dedicated immunisation website — www.immunisation.ie — provides details on the annual flu vaccination, along with answers to any questions people may have about flu, and leaflets are available for downloading. These leaflets are also available in GP surgeries and HSE local health offices.