Parents encouraged to Book Free Childrens’ Flu Vaccines this Winter

Parents encouraged to Book Free Childrens' Flu Vaccines this Winter

All children aged 2-17 are entitled to a free vaccine available in community pharmacies

1 December 2022: Parents across Ireland are being encouraged to book their children in for their annual free flu vaccine this winter. The Irish Pharmacy Union (IPU) has said that the vaccine, which is administered via a simple nasal spray, is available in community pharmacies nationwide.

IPU Vice-President Ann-Marie Horan said, “While we have seen an increase in demand for flu vaccines among adults year-on-year, vaccination rates for children remain lower than desired. Children who do contract the flu will more often than not develop mild symptoms, however, children with chronic health conditions are at risk of serious complications from flu and in some cases can develop serious problems such as bronchitis and pneumonia. It is the sad reality that over the last 10 years in Ireland, almost 5,000 children were admitted to hospital with complications of flu, with 200 of those children needing treatment in intensive care.”

“As we begin to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, we do expect that there will be a rise in the cases of flu this winter. With social distancing and mask wearing being less prevalent across Irish society this winter, everyone should make a conscious effort to avoid serious illness. As is the case with COVID-19, vaccines are the best protection against serious illness from the flu. Therefore, availing of the flu vaccine for you and your family is the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones this winter. All you have to do is make an appointment with your local pharmacy.”

In conclusion, Ms Horan said, “For parents concerned about the administration of the vaccine for their children, please be aware that the vaccine is given as a spray in each nostril, is not painful and is absorbed quickly. Availing of the vaccine is simple and easy and will not only keep your children safe but will also protect the vulnerable in our communities.”

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