Flu Vaccine 2020/21

Winter is coming and our 2020 season flu vaccine will soon be available in Beechlawn Medical Centre.

It is more important than ever this year that as many people as possible get their flu vaccine.

The most common queries we get on the phone with regard to the flu vaccine relate to price and eligibility.

  • The flu vaccine will be available from the end of September
  • The nasal flu vaccine for children will be available from the middle of October
  • The flu vaccine is free to everyone over 65
  • The flu vaccine is free to children aged from 2-12
  • If you are a private patient who does not meet criteria there is a charge of €25.
  • For administration of flu vaccine during a consultation with a doctor there is a total charge of 80€.
  • There is a pre-pay system in operation for attendance at the nurse-led dedicated flu clinic
  • Children under 6 months cannot get the flu vaccine
  • Children between 6 months and 9 years may need a second dose of the flu vaccine to get full immunity to it

The HSE has some excellent advice and information on its website about the flu vaccine but we have tried to answer some of the more common questions here;

Who should get the flu vaccine?

Ideally…EVERYONE without a specific reason not to, however vaccination is strongly recommended for:

  • Persons aged 65 and over
  • Adults and children aged 6 months and older with a long-term health condition such as:
      • Chronic heart disease, including acute coronary syndrome
      •  Chronic liver disease
      •  Chronic renal failure
      •  Chronic respiratory disease, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, 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 over 40
      •  Immunosuppression due to disease or treatment, including asplenia or splenic dysfunction and all cancer patients
  • Children aged 6 months and older:
      • with any condition (e.g. cognitive dysfunction, spinal cord injury, seizure disorder, or other neuromuscular disorder) that can compromise respiratory function especially those attending special schools/day centres
      •  with moderate to severe neurodevelopmental disorders such as cerebral palsy and intellectual disability
      •  on long-term aspirin therapy (because of the risk of Reyes syndrome)
  • Pregnant women (vaccine can be given at any stage of pregnancy)
  • Healthcare workers
  • Residents of nursing homes and other long stay institutions
  • People who should get the vaccine but are not at risk of getting complications include those who:
      • work in healthcare
      • are a carer or live with someone who is at a risk of flu
      • are in regular contact with pigs, poultry or water fowl

I’m not on the above list…should I still get the vaccine??

Absolutely!! The more people who get the vaccine, the less flu we see in our communities. This makes it safer for the more vulnerable in our society by further reducing their risk of contracting it.

How much will the flu vaccine cost me?

If you have a medical card or doctor visit card or meet one of the conditions mentioned above, the vaccine is free-you just need to sign a form.

If you do not have a medical or doctor visit card and do not meet the conditions outlined above and you book in to see the nurse just for the flu jab then the charge is €25. Should you also require a consult with a doctor, there will be a total fee of €80

I would like my children to get the vaccine. Is it safe for them?

Yes it is! All vaccines have been thoroughly tested to ensure they will not harm you or your child.

The flu vaccine for children has been given to children in the US since 2003 and in the UK since 2013 and can be administered to children from six months of age. Those between the ages of 2 and 12 years may be able to receive the vaccine nasally. Please see our section on the nasal flu vaccine for children for more information

Are there side-effects of getting the flu vaccine?

No medical intervention is completely free of possible side-effects although there are relatively few with regard to the flu vaccine. The most common is discomfort at the site of the injection, although some people experience mild headache, muscle aches and pains, whilst children may experience a mild fever. Other side-effects such as allergic reactions, are extremely rare.