Each year, come Autumn, we face the Flu Season together. We recommend you receive your flu vaccine before the flu season starts to provide your body with the most effective protection. We begin providing the flu vaccine to people from October onwards. The flu vaccine is very safe and an effective measure for protection, especially over the winter months.

Age Groups

The Flu Vaccine is free for those in the at-risk category, please see the Frequently Asked Questions for specific details of who will be covered.

Children between 2 and 17 can receive the flu vaccine through their nose as a nasal spray and it is for free. Adults receive the vaccine as an injection into their arm.

Timing and Side Effects

The flu vaccine begins to work approximately 2 weeks after receiving it and it should protect you for the full flu season.

We recommend if you feel side effects from receiving the flu vaccine, you should take paracetamol, drink plenty of water, and rest. Side effects may include:

  • Soreness, redness or swelling where you got the injection.
  • Fever (high temperature - 38 degrees Celsius or above).
  • Mild sweating and shivering.
  • Headache.
  • Aches.
  • Feeling tired.

You need to receive the Flu Vaccine each year. This is because the antibodies that protect you fade over time. Flu strains also change each year.

Exempt From Flu Vaccine

We do not recommend receiving the Flu Vaccine if you suffer from anything in the list below:

You should not get the flu vaccine if you:

  • Have had a severe allergic reaction to a previous flu vaccine or any part of the vaccine (including polysorbate-80).
  • Are taking medicines called combination checkpoint inhibitors, for example, ipilimumab plus nivolumab.
  • Have severe neutropoenia, which is low levels of a type of white blood cell.
  • Are ill with a temperature greater than 38 degrees Celsius - wait until you are well before getting the vaccine.
  • Have an egg allergy, talk to your GP before getting the vaccine. Most people with an egg allergy can get the flu vaccine.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to book?
You can either book a time slot that suits you or you can just call in to us and see if we can do the vaccination while you wait.

To book your flu vaccine today call 0419835952

Do I have to pay for the flu vaccine?
If you are one of the following then you will receive your flu vaccine free of charge:

  • Aged 65 years and older.
  • Aged 2 to 17 years.
  • healthcare worker.
  • Pregnant.
  • Living in a nursing home or other long-term care facility.
  • In regular contact with pigs, poultry or waterfowl.

People who also fall under one of these categories will qualify:

  • Chronic heart disease, including acute coronary syndrome
  • Chronic liver disease
  • Chronic kidney failure
  • Chronic respiratory disease, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cystic fibrosis, moderate or severe asthma, or bronchopulmonary dysplasia
  • Chronic neurological disease including multiple sclerosis, hereditary and degenerative disorders of the central nervous system
  • Diabetes
  • Down syndrome
  • Haemoglobinopathies
  • Morbid obesity, which means a body mass index (BMI) over 40
  • Immunosuppression due to disease or treatment (including asplenia or hyposplenism, and all cancer patients)
  • Children with a moderate to severe neurodevelopmental disorder such as cerebral palsy
  • Children on long-term aspirin therapy
  • Those with any condition that can compromise respiratory function, like spinal cord injury, seizure disorder or other neuromuscular disorder, especially those attending special schools or day centres

Those who do not fall under any of the above categories, will have to pay €25.

What is seasonal flu (influenza)?
Seasonal flu is a highly infectious viral illness of the respiratory tract that can be life-threatening.

Can flu cause serious illness?
Flu is a serious illness with most deaths from seasonal flu occurring in people aged 65 years and over. Swine Flu, a new flu virus, caused a pandemic in 2009 and infected in particular young children, pregnant women, and those under 65 years with long-term medical conditions.

Is it cold or flu?
Flu symptoms come on suddenly with a fever, muscle aches, headache and fatigue. A cold is a much less serious illness than the flu and usually starts gradually with a sore throat and a blocked or runny nose.

How does the seasonal flu vaccine work?
Seasonal flu vaccine helps the person’s immune system to produce antibodies to the flu virus.

Can I get the Flu Vaccine at the same time as the Covid-19 Vaccine?
Yes, You can also get the flu vaccine at the same time as your COVID-19 booster dose.

How safe is flu vaccine?
Seasonal flu vaccines have been given for more than 60 years to millions of people worldwide. Reactions are generally mild and serious side effects are very rare.

What can I expect after vaccination?
The most common side effects will be mild and may include:
- Soreness
- Redness
- Swelling at injection site

Some people may also experience:
- Headache
- Fever
- Aches
- Tiredness

Remember! This is not the flu and will pass after a day or so.

(Check out the HSE website for more information of the flu vaccine.)

October 01, 2021 — Miriam Meagher

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