Flu vaccine for healthcare workers
Prevent the spread of flu and save lives by getting the flu vaccine.
Healthcare workers can now book a free flu vaccine online. They can also get the vaccine at their GP or pharmacy.
What you need to book a flu vaccine online
To book an appointment at a healthcare worker flu vaccine clinic, we ask you for:
- a mobile phone number
- an address or Eircode
We also ask for a PPS number. If you do not have one, you can still get an appointment.
We need your PPS number to find your individual health identifier (IHI). An IHI is a unique number used to identify you when you use a health or social care service.
You will need to bring a staff ID card or a letter from your employer stating you are a healthcare worker.
Book a flu vaccine online
A very small number of clinics will provide the flu vaccine and COVID-19 vaccine at the same time. You can check which clinics offer this when you book online.
Some clinics only vaccinate people who work for their organisation. If the organisation you work for runs a clinic, book your vaccine in that clinic.
Flu vaccine from GP or pharmacy
Healthcare workers can get a free flu vaccine at their GP or pharmacy. Contact your GP or pharmacy to arrange this.
Healthcare workers and flu risk
Healthcare workers have a higher risk of getting flu. At least 20% of healthcare workers are infected with flu every year.
Healthcare workers may spread flu to patients, family and colleagues because:
- flu is highly transmissible
- many people do not get any symptoms of flu
- some people may only have mild symptoms and continue to go into work
Prevent the spread of flu
If you have any symptoms of flu, do not visit:
- residential care facilities
- vulnerable people
People who are 65 and older or with long-term medical conditions often have weaker immune systems. These groups are more likely to be in hospitals and long-term care facilities. They rely on the immunity of people who care for them.
You can spread the flu virus before you know that you are sick. Flu can be transmitted from 1 day before you develop symptoms and for 3 to 5 days after developing symptoms. During this time patients and colleagues could become infected.
Who should get vaccinated
Everyone working in a healthcare setting should get the flu vaccine including:
- medical, nursing and allied health professionals including those working in residential disability services
- medical, nursing and allied health students including those working in residential disability services
- general support staff
- dental personnel
- hospital porters and cleaners
- ambulance personnel
- carers and home helps
- all GP practice staff
- agency staff who fall into the above categories
We also recommend the flu vaccine for other at-risk groups.
Even healthy people can get seriously ill from flu.
Infection prevention and control procedures, such as hand hygiene, are essential in healthcare settings but they do not prevent flu. Vaccination is the best protection against flu.
In healthcare settings with high levels of flu vaccination there are lower rates of:
- flu-like illnesses
- hospitalisation and deaths from flu in people aged 65 and older
- sick leave in healthcare workers
Pregnant healthcare workers
We recommend the seasonal flu vaccine for all pregnant women. Pregnant women are more likely to get complications from flu. You can get the vaccine at any stage of pregnancy.
Getting the flu after vaccination
There are always other viruses circulating that can cause symptoms similar to flu. The vaccine only protects against flu and not other viruses.
It takes 2 weeks to develop immunity after vaccination. It’s possible to get flu if you are exposed to the virus during this time.
Uptake of flu vaccine by healthcare professionals
The target vaccine uptake for healthcare workers is 75%.
HSELanD eLearning programme
An eLearning programme "The Flu Vaccine - Protect yourself, Protect others" is available for all HSE staff and staff from HSE-funded services on HSELanD.
If you have any comments or queries about the module, contact the Workplace Health and Wellbeing Unit at firstname.lastname@example.org.