Flu vaccine

The flu vaccine (available for free for 65 and over)

For those who are 65 and over the influenza vaccine is available from mid-April and is free for those 65 and over, pregnant women and anyone with underlying health issues. The influenza vaccine is used to prevent infection caused by influenza (flu) virus.

Getting your flu vaccine is one of the best things you can do to help stay well through the flu season. The flu can be easily spread in the community and your best-recommended protection from the flu is the vaccine.

Influenza is very contagious and will cause infection of the airways and affects people of all ages. Although it is generally a mild illness it can cause very serious health issues in otherwise healthy people causing hospitalization and at the very worst death.

The vaccine is a safe and effective way to protect you from the serious disease caused by influenza. Your vaccination will be completed by a qualified vaccinating Pharmacist who will take you through several questions and consent forms before giving you your vaccine.

Being vaccinated causes your body to produce antibodies against the flu virus. This means that your body is better well equipped to respond more effectively and quickly to the flu virus. Your body comes across the non-infectious version of the virus in the vaccine and learns to recognize it and build up antibodies against it. If you were to contract the flu post jab you will usually get a mild form of it and recover faster with less serious complications.

Getting vaccinated will help to preserve capacity in our hospitals and will help to keep our doctors from being overwhelmed while our health systems are still dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic.

Your immunity is the strongest and most effective for 3 to 4 months after you have had the flu shot. Flu season generally runs from June to September, peaking in August which means April or May is your ideal time to get your flu shot. Yearly immunization is recommended as the influenza virus is constantly changing and therefore the vaccine changes accordingly.

With all vaccines, you may experience some side effects following getting your jab. Most reactions are mild and only last 1 or 2 days, and you will recover from these reactions with no issue. Common side effects of the vaccine include pain, redness, swelling or hardness where the needle went in and or fever, tiredness, body aches. Talk to your local pharmacist about possible side effects of the influenza vaccines, or if you or your child have side effects that worry you.

Most of your local community pharmacists will be providing the influenza vaccine to keep you and your family healthy and strong to power through the winter months.