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Flu vaccine for people with long-term conditions

Flu Vaccine Group Photo

There has been an increase in the number of cases of flu recently.

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 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!

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

We strongly recommend the flu vaccine for anyone, 6 months and over, who has a long-term health condition such as:

  • chronic heart disease (including a history of 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 (BMI) over 40
  • immunosuppression due to disease or treatment (including 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)

Find out how to get the flu vaccine.

More information