"The HSE is urging people to get the vaccine now.” - Flu season is on its way to Ireland 3 years ago

"The HSE is urging people to get the vaccine now.” - Flu season is on its way to Ireland

Flu causes severe illness and death in Ireland every year.

The Health Service Executive (HSE) is urging people to get vaccinated against influenza as winter starts to creep upon us and the flu season in Ireland begins.

They have especially advised certain 'at-risk groups' to be vaccinated against the seasonal influenza and these groups include:

  • Everyone aged 65 years and over
  • Anyone over six months of age with a long-term illness. E.g. chronic lung disease, chronic heart disease, diabetes or those with lower immunity due to disease or treatment.
  • Pregnant Women
  • Residents of nursing homes and other long stay facilities
  • Healthcare workers.

This year’s seasonal flu vaccine protects against the three common flu virus strains expected to be circulating based on advice from the World Health Organization.

Anna Clarke, Consultant in Public Health Medicine for the HSE National Immunisation Office, said: "This year’s flu season is just beginning. Flu vaccine prevents hospitalisations and deaths.

"The best protection against flu is the flu vaccine. All people in risk groups should get the vaccine if they have not gotten it already. As the vaccine takes two weeks to work, the HSE is urging people to get the vaccine now.

"The flu vaccine is a lifesaver because flu can be a very serious and sometimes deadly disease, with potentially 1,000 flu-related deaths in Ireland during a severe flu season."

The symptoms of flu usually develop over a matter of a few hours and include a high temperature, sore muscles, dry cough, headache and sore throat. Flu is different from the common cold, which tends to come on more gradually and usually includes a runny nose and a normal temperature.

“Anyone who gets flu should stay at home, rest, drink plenty of fluids and use over-the-counter flu remedies to ease symptoms. People in high-risk categories should contact their GP if they develop flu symptoms," concluded Clarke.

If you need more information, Under The Weather offers advice for those - young or old - who are feeling sick.