Can I get my COVID booster and my flu vaccine at the same time?
Yes – we will administer the vaccines into different limbs, i.e. the left and the right arm to reduce the risk of side effects
How soon will I be protected against both Covid and Flu?
The flu vaccine and Covid vaccine both start to work within 2 weeks. Please note that you may still contact both of these viruses despite being vaccinated however your symptoms are likely to be mild
How do I know if I am at high risk to contract the flu?
Some people are more at risk of getting complications if they catch flu.
You can get the flu vaccine for free if you:
are 65 years of age and over
are a child aged 2 to 17 years
are an adult or child aged 6 months or older with a long-term health condition like:
chronic heart disease, including acute coronary syndrome
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
morbid obesity i.e., body mass index (BMI) over 40
immunosuppression due to disease or treatment (including treatment for cancer)
are a child with a moderate to severe neurodevelopmental disorder such as cerebral palsy
were born with Down syndrome
live in a nursing home or other long-term care facility
Some people should get the vaccine to protect themselves, their families and those they care for.
These include those who:
work in healthcare
only household contacts or carers of people who have an underlying chronic health condition or have Down syndrome are eligible to receive an influenza vaccine. A carer is described as someone who is providing an ongoing significant level of care to a person who is in need of care in the home due to illness or disability or frailty e.g., those in receipt of a carer's allowance.
household contacts of people aged 65 years and older (who do not also have a chronic health condition), pregnant women, children aged 2-17 years or of healthcare workers or carers are not recommended the influenza vaccine.
People who are in regular contact with pigs, poultry or waterfowl should get the flu vaccine.
Is the Flu Vaccine safe?
Getting the flu vaccine is the best way to help protect yourself from getting the flu.
Flu vaccines usually reduce the risk of infection by 40-60%.
Flu vaccines also reduce:
the severity of illness
complications from influenza
admissions to critical care units
Flu vaccines have been given to millions of people worldwide for over 60 years, including pregnant women. Reactions to the vaccine are generally mild.
Are there side effects?
The most common side effects are mild and include soreness, redness or swelling where the injection was given. Headache, fever, aches, drowsiness, and tiredness may occur. You may have mild sweating and shivering as your immune system responds to the vaccine. This is not flu and will pass in a day or so.
Serious side effects such as a severe allergic reaction are rare.
In very rare cases Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) has been reported (Guillain-Barré Syndrome is a condition that affects the nerves in the body. It causes nerve inflammation and can result in pain, numbness, muscle weakness and difficulty walking). However, the risk of GBS following flu is significantly greater than that following the flu vaccine.
If I am not in a high-risk category, can I still get the flu vaccine?
Yes, however, there will be a charge for this service.
How much does the vaccine cost?
The flu vaccine will be provided for free if you fall into an at-risk category. If you don’t fall into one of these categories, the cost is €30. The COVID vaccine is free of charge
How do I book my flu and COVID vaccine appointment?
Visit our website to book your vaccine with your chosen store. Once you make your booking you will receive a booking confirmation via email and text. We offer the flu vaccine in all 28 McCabes stores and the COVID vaccine in select stores. – see booking options for stores where you can receive both
Who can receive a 1st COVID booster dose?
Anyone from the age of 12 and over can receive their 1st Booster Dose
Who can receive a 2nd COVID booster dose?
The National Immunisation Advisory Committee has advised that a second booster dose of an mRNA vaccine is recommended to the following groups, who have already completed their primary course and first booster dose with any COVID-19 vaccine type
You can get your second booster dose if you are:
Age 18 to 64
12 or older with a condition that puts you are high risk of serious illness from COVID-19, for example, diabetes, asthma or heart disease
Pregnant (from 16 weeks)
A healthcare worker – bring your work ID or a letter as proof of employment
There must be at least a six month interval since your previous vaccine dose
If you have not already had your second booster, you can still get one if you are aged:
65 or older
12 or older with a weak immune system
For these individuals there must be at least 4 months (120 days) since previous vaccine dose or SARS-CoV-2 infection.