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Flu Vaccine


Get protected, Get the flu vaccine

In this section you'll find information on the flu vaccine. Influenza or the flu can be a serious illness – especially for older people. Flu can be prevented by influenza vaccination.


Influenza vaccination
How to get vaccinated
Frequently asked questions
Other useful articles or links

Influenza vaccination
Older people and people with chronic medical conditions are at greatest risk of getting the flu. Chronic medical conditions include chronic heart conditions, chronic respiratory disease, diabetes mellitus and those who have a low immune system. Influenza has more severe consequences in the elderly and people defined as being high risk. These groups of people are targeted for influenza vaccination.

Vaccination is a safe and effective way to prevent infection by flu and it is prepared every year using strains of the virus similar to those that are likely to be around in the next winter season.  The vaccine protects you for about one year and should be taken annually in September/October to protect you for the coming winter season.

The flu vaccine can reduce infection caused by the illness and protect against associated illnesses. This can help you to avoid hospitalisation and in some cases it can even prevent death, as most deaths from flu occur in people aged over 65 years.


How to get vaccinated
The influenza vaccination is available from your family doctor or pharmacist. The HSE provide free vaccines to General Practitioners (GPs) for all persons over 65 years and those in the high risk groups outlined above. There is no charge for medical card holders.

Family doctors can charge a consultation fee to patients that are not covered by a medical card. For more information about vaccination or availability of the vaccine it is best to contact your doctor, public health nurse or pharmacist.


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Frequently asked questions

  1. Does flu vaccination give a high degree of protection? Yes
  2. Can the flu injection give a person the flu?No
  3. Can the flu cause serious illness, hospitalisation and death? Yes
  4. Will the flu injection protect a person from the common cold? No
  5. Should a person at risk be vaccinated every year?Yes
  6. Is Influenza highly infectious and does it spread rapidly? Yes
  7. Should carers of those at-risk enquire about vaccination for themselves? Yes
  8. If I am at-risk, should I talk to my doctor about getting vaccinated? Yes.


Influenza (Flu)
Flu is a highly infectious illness. A person carrying the virus can spread the illness by coughing or sneezing. A person can spread the virus from 1-2 days before they develop symptoms and for up to a week after symptoms develop. Influenza is characterised by sudden onset of symptoms, including a temperature of 38%C or more with a dry cough, headache, sore muscles and sore throat. The cough is often severe and continuous, but otherwise the disease doesn’t last for very long and for most people recovery is usually within 2-7 days. The most frequent complication from influenza is pneumonia, most commonly secondary bacterial pneumonia.

If influenza or influenza-like illness has been diagnosed, often the best treatment is to stay indoors, keep warm and drink plenty of liquids. Simple painkillers such as paracetamol may help relieve headache or muscle pains.

For more information on immunisation click on the National Immunisation Website


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Other useful articles or links


Click here for HSE Local Health Offices


Click here for HSEHealth Centres


National Immunisation Website


Click here for Health Protection Surveillance Cenre

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Call Save: 1850 24 1850


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