Flu Vaccination

Seasonal Flu Vaccine Information 

There has been a steady increase in the number of cases of flu in recent years.

Flu is a very infectious and potentially serious illness and a new flu vaccine must be given each year.

Flu can cause severe illness and can even be life threatening for older people, those who have a long term illness and pregnant women.

Flu is a highly infectious acute respiratory illness caused by the influenza virus. Influenza affects people of all ages. Outbreaks of flu occur almost every year, usually in winter. This is why it is also known as seasonal flu.

Flu can be prevented by vaccination. Flu vaccination is a safe, effective way to help prevent flu infection, avoid hospitalisation and reduce flu-related deaths and illnesses.

Get the vaccine, not the flu!

The HSE is urging people in at-risk groups to get vaccinated against influenza.

Vaccination is strongly recommended for:

  • persons aged 65 and older
  • those with long term medical conditions such as diabetes and chronic heart, kidney, lung or neurological disease
  • people whose immune system is impaired due to disease or treatment including all cancer patients
  • persons with a Body Mass Index (BMI) over 40
  • pregnant women (at any stage in pregnancy)
  • residents of nursing homes and other long stay institutions 
  • people with regular close contact with poultry, water fowl or pigs
  • health care workers
  • carers
If you are in one of the at risk groups and have not had your flu vaccine, contact your GP or pharmacist to get the vaccine NOW

If you are 65 or over or have a long term medical condition you should also ask your doctor about the pneumococcal vaccine.

The HSE provides the flu and pneumococcal vaccines free of charge for all those in the at-risk groups.

Those aged 18 years or older in the at-risk groups may attend either their GP or pharmacist for vaccination and those under 18 years should attend their GP.

The vaccine and consultation are free for those with a Medical Card or GP Visit Card.

Those without a Medical Card or GP Visit Card will be charged a consultation fee.

The seasonal flu campaign for 2017/2018 will continue until the end of April 2018.

More information is available on the following pages

What strains are in this season’s flu vaccine?

This year's seasonal flu vaccine contains protection against 3 strains of flu virus recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) as the strains most likely to be circulating this season. The three strains are

  • an A/Michigan/45/2015 (H1N1)pdm09-like strain
  • an A/Hong Kong/4801/2014 (H3N2)-like strain
  • a B/Brisbane/60/2008-like strain

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. 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?

Please visit our Dealing with Flu page for further advice

Where can I find out more?

The following information materials are available for this year’s campaign

The following information materials are available for the 2017/2018 influenza campaign

This page was updated on 25 September 2017