Flu Update Saturday December 21st
Influenza-like illness has increased in Ireland over the last number of weeks. This is earlier than usual compared to oyther years. 627 cases have been hospitalised with 25 of those admitted to critical care. Sadly, there have been 8 deaths to date. It is not too late to get the flu vaccine.
Fortune’s Pharmacy participates in the annual Seasonal Influenza Vaccination Programme and this year we will be providing the flu vaccine to patients aged 10 years and over.
Do I need to get the Flu Jab?
While everyone should consider getting the flu jab, it is especially important for you if you, or someone you care for,
- are aged 65 and over
- have a chronic illness requiring regular follow up, e.g. chronic respiratory disease including cystic fibrosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), moderate or severe asthma, chronic heart disease including acute coronary syndrome, chronic neurological disease, chronic kidney disease, diabetes mellitus, chronic liver disease, chronic neurological disease including multiple sclerosis, hereditary and degenerative disorders of the central nervous system, etc.
- have an haemoglobinopathy
- are immunosuppressed due to disease or treatment including those with missing or non-functioning spleen
- are a cancer patient (some cancer patients will require 2 doses)
- have Down Syndrome
- have a Body Mass Index (BMI) over 40
- are pregnant (the vaccine can be given at any stage)
- are resident in a nursing homes or other long stay institution
- are a healthcare worker
- are a carer
- are a household contact of persons in increased medical risk categories
- are in regular close contact with poultry, water fowl or pigs
Children aged 10 years and older, who are not in any of the above groups, are also included if they –
- are on long-term aspirin therapy
- have moderate to severe neurodevelopmental disorders such as cerabral palsy and intellectual disability
- have any condition that can compromise respiratory function especially those attending special schools. Examples of conditions include spinal cord injury and seizure disorder.
The 2019/2020 campaign will run from September 2019 to April 2020. You can get the flu jab at anytime during the campaign but getting it as early as possible will lessen your chances of getting the flu during the Winter. Our trained pharmacists can vaccinate you if you are over 10 years of age using the deltoid site (upper arm) for vaccine administration. We will need the consent of a parent or guardian for patients aged between 10 and 16 years.
Is there a charge?
In the 2019/2020 campaign we will provide the vaccine free of charge to all patients over 65 years who hold a Medical Card, Doctor Visit Card or Health Amendment Act eligibility. We will also be providing the vaccine free of charge to patients between the ages of 10 and 64 who are in the at-risk groups above and who hold a Medical Card, Doctor Visit Card or Health Amendment Act eligibility. Other patients over 65 and those under 65 in the at-risk groups above are subject to a vaccine administration fee. All other patients under 65 pay a vaccine administration fee in addition to the cost of the vaccine.
Vaccination is carried out by prior appointment. Please contact us today to arrange a date and time for your flu jab.
What to I need to bring with me?
If you are an Irish national please bring your PPS Number with you when attending for your vaccination. This is a requirement of the Health Services Executive (HSE). We will also need details of your Medical Card, GP Visit Card, or Health Amendment Act Card, if you have one. Don’t forget that a parent or guardian will need to accompany any child aged between 10 years and 16 years.
If you are not an Irish national we can still vaccinate you.
We will need to gain access to the entire of your arm right up to the top of the shoulder so make sure to wear something appropriate.
This years flu vaccine will provide protection against the following four strains of flu which includes H1N1 or swine flu.
- A/Brisbane/02/2018 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus
- A/Kansas/14/2017(H3N2)-like virus
- B/Colorado/06/2017-like virus (B/Victoria/2/87 lineage)
- B/Phuket/3073/2013-like virus (B/Yamagata/16/88 lineage)
Anything else I need to know
If you are taking the blood thinner warfarin, we recommend that you wait until 3 or 4 days before your next INR check before getting your flu jab or arrange to have an INR check done 3 to 4 days after your jab.
For further information about vaccines visit www.immunisation.ie
This year’s flu vaccine campaign will start on Monday September 23rd