The HSE Dublin Mid Leinster has reminded those at risk of influenza this winter to 'Get the vaccine, not the flu!'.
This year's national flu vaccination campaign is targeting the three key at-risk groups for influenza, those aged over 65, health care staff and carers, and younger people with long term illnesses such as asthma, heart problems, etc. The HSE's dedicated immunisation website, www.immunisation.ie, provides details on the flu vaccination, along with answers to any questions people may have about flu.
Dr Phil Jennings, director of Public Health in the Dublin Mid-Leinster area, this week reminded everyone in the at-risk groups to visit their GP for flu vaccination. “Flu is a very infectious and potentially serious illness and a new flu vaccine must be given each year. For older people and those who have a chronic illness, flu can cause severe illness and can even be life-threatening. All those at risk should get the flu vaccine this year to make sure they are protected. The flu vaccine cannot give you the flu. We want to increase the uptake of flu vaccine for all the at-risk groups to make sure our most vulnerable groups are kept safe this winter.”
People with either a medical card or GP Visit Card will not be charged to visit the doctor for flu vaccine. General practitioners may charge a consultation fee to administer the vaccine to patients without a medical card or GP visit card, however the vaccine is supplied free of charge. In addition to an annual flu vaccination, all those at risk should also receive pneumococcal vaccine which is available free of charge from general practitioners. Pneumoccal vaccine is not required annually so those at risk should first check with their general practitioner.