Seasonal Flu Vaccine Information
Influenza is a highly infectious acute respiratory illness caused by the influenza virus. Influenza affects people of all ages. Outbreaks of influenza occur almost every year, usually in winter. This is why it is also known as seasonal flu.
Flu can be prevented by vaccination. Flu vaccine is a safe, effective way to help prevent flu infection, avoiding hospitalisation, reducing flu related deaths and illnesses.
Get the vaccine, not the flu!
Who should be vaccinated?
Anyone can get the flu but it is more severe in people aged 65 years and over and anyone with a chronic medical condition. Chronic medical conditions include chronic heart conditions, chronic respiratory disease, diabetes mellitus and immunosupression due to disease or treatment. Pregnant women have also been found to be at increased risk of the complications of flu. These groups of people are targeted for influenza vaccination.
Vaccination is strongly recommended for:
- Persons aged 65 and over
- Those aged 6 months and older with a long-term health condition such as - Chronic heart disease (this includes anyone who has a history of having a "heart attack" or unstable angina) - Chronic liver disease - Chronic renal 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 mellitus - Down syndrome - Haemoglobinopathies - Morbid obesity i.e. body mass index over 40 - Immunosuppression due to disease or treatment (these include anyone on treatment for cancer)
- Children aged 6 months and older - with any condition that can affect lung function especially those attending special schools/day centres with cerebral palsy or intellectual disability - on long-term aspirin therapy (because of the risk of Reyes syndrome)
- Pregnant women (vaccine can be given at any stage of pregnancy)
- Healthcare workers
- Residents of nursing homes and other long stay institutions
- Carers (the main carers of those in the at risk groups)
- People with regular contact with pigs, poultry or water fowl.
More information is available on the following pages
What strains are in this season’s flu vaccine?
This year's seasonal flu vaccine contains 3 strains of flu viruses as recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) as the strains most likely to be circulating this season. The three strains are
- A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)pdm09 - like strain (A/California/7/2009, NYMC X-179A)
- A/Hong Kong/4801/2014 (H3N2) - like strain (A/Hong Kong/4801/2014, NYMC X-263B)
- B/Brisbane/60/2008 - like strain (B/Brisbane/60/2008, wild type)
The flu virus changes each year this is why a new flu vaccine has to be given each year.
What is the name of this season's flu vaccine?
This year's season flu vaccine is called Inactivated Influenza vaccine (Split Virion) BP. It is manufactured by Sanofi Pasteur MSD. The Patient Information Leaflet and the Summary of Product Characteristics are available here
How do I get vaccinated?
Contact your line manager, occupational health department, general practitioner or pharmacist for further details.
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.
Do I need to pay?
The vaccine is free for all those in the recommended groups.
The vaccine and consultation are free to those within the recommended groups who have a 'Medical Card' or 'Doctor Only Card'.
Family doctors and Pharmacists charge a consultation fee for seasonal flu vaccine to those who do not have a 'Medical Card' or 'Doctor Only Card'.
I think I have flu what should I do?
We have some useful advice for dealing with flu
Where can I find out more?
The following information materials are available for this years campaign
You can listen to our radio ads below
This page was updated on 03/10/2016