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What is Influenza (Flu)?

Influenza is an acute viral infection which affects the respiratory tract and has systemic symptoms. It is caused by a virus which infects humans, animals, and birds. 

What are the signs and symptoms of flu?

Most people do not experience any symptoms. Some people may have mild, moderate, or severe symptoms. Onset is sudden, and symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Rhinitis
  • Cough
  • Myalgia
  • Headache
  • Fatigue

In the majority, symptoms last for 3 to 5 days. Patients rapidly recover, although some feel weak and lethargic for several weeks

Why should I get the flu vaccine?

Some people are more likely to develop complications if they contract influenza. It is important for these “high-risk” patients to receive their flu vaccination annually

The seasonal flu vaccine (flu jab) protects against 4 strains of flu virus. These are the strains most likely to be circulating this flu season.

The vaccine is available every year to adults and children at risk of flu and its complications.

You need to get a new vaccine every Autumn. This is because the strains of the flu virus change. This is why it is called seasonal flu. But people commonly call it flu.

You should get your flu vaccine during the Autumn, to be covered for flu season

How do I book my flu vaccine appointment?

Visit our website next week to book your vaccine with your chosen store. Once you make your booking you will receive a booking confirmation via e-mail and text.

What stores can I book my flu vaccine in?

A flu vaccine can be booked in the following locations: 

Adelphi, Airside, Athy, Ballymun, Blanchardstown, Bray, Citywest, Clarehall, Dundrum, Glasnevin, Gorey, Griffeen, Kimmage,

Limerick, Lusk, Malahide, Pavilions, Ridgewood, Rush, Sandyford, Santry, Tallaght, The Diamond, Thurles, Wexford, Yellow Walls.

 

Frequently Asked Questions:
  • How the flu vaccine works

    The flu vaccine helps your immune system to produce antibodies (proteins that fight infection). If you have had the flu vaccine and you come into contact with the flu virus, the vaccine can stop you from getting sick

    The flu vaccine starts to work within 2 weeks.

    You need to have the flu vaccine every year. This is because the antibodies that protect you decline over time. Flu strains can also change from year to year

  • 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 pregnant
    • 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
      • diabetes mellitus
      • haemoglobinopathies
      • 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.

    It will not stop all flu viruses and the level of protection may vary. So, it's not a 100% effective and you may still get flu.

    But if you do get flu after you have the vaccine, it's likely to be milder and you will recover more quickly.

    Flu vaccines usually reduce the risk of infection by 40-60%.

    Flu vaccines also reduce:

    • the severity of illness
    • complications from influenza
    • flu-related hospitalisations
    • 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 flu 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.

  • How do I book my flu 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.
 

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