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Seasonal flu is a highly infectious viral illness of the respiratory tract that can be life threatening.
Flu is a serious illness which can cause complications in people with long term medical conditions, those aged 65 years and over and pregnant women.
Flu symptoms come on suddenly with a fever, muscle aches, headache and fatigue. A cold is a much less severe illness than flu. A cold usually starts gradually with a sore throat and a blocked or runny nose. Symptoms of a cold are generally mild compared to flu.
Each year the seasonal (annual) flu vaccine contains three common influenza virus strains. The flu virus changes each year - this is why a new influenza vaccine has to be given each year.
Seasonal flu vaccine helps the person’s immune system to produce antibodies to the flu virus. When someone who has been vaccinated comes into contact with the virus these antibodies attack the virus.
Vaccination is strongly recommended for:
There are very few reasons why vaccination should be postponed. Vaccination should be re-scheduled if you have an acute illness with a temperature greater than 38°C.
Pregnant women should be given flu vaccine as they are at higher risk of severe complications from flu. Flu vaccine protects pregnant women during pregnancy and provides ongoing protection to their newborn baby during their first few months of life.
If you are pregnant please read the HSE leaflet “Flu vaccine - Information for pregnant women”
Vaccination should take place in September and October.
The vaccine starts to work within two weeks.
People aged 18 years or older may attend either their GP or Pharmacist. People under 18 years of age should attend their GP for vaccination. If you have a ‘Medical Card’ or ‘GP Visit Card’ the vaccine and consultation are free. If you do not have a ‘Medical Card’ or ‘GP Visit Card’ you will be charged a consultation fee for seasonal flu vaccine.
Please make an appointment with our Pharmacist now.