Book a Flu Vaccination

The annual flu vaccination service for the 2022/23 season will commence very shortly. You can book an appointment in one of our branches online below. Select your preferred branch and date/time available, fill in the questionnaire and we'll send you confirmation. If no appointments are available, you can place yourself on the waiting list and a text message will be sent out when an appointment becomes available.

We have answered some FAQ's below:

What is Influenza (Flu)?

Influenza is a highly infectious acute respiratory illness caused by the influenza virus. It affects people of all ages. Outbreaks of the flu occur almost every year, usually between the months of September and April and is therefore referred to as seasonal flu. The illness is more severe in the elderly, children under 4 years of age or with cerebral palsy, those with chronic heart or lung disease and pregnant women.

How does the Flu Vaccine work?

The flu vaccine helps your immune system produce antibodies to fight the influenza virus. If you have been vaccinated and you come into contact with the virus, these antibodies will attack it and stop you from getting sick. The virus that causes the flu changes every year so a new flu vaccine has to be given every year.

Who should get the Flu Vaccine?

 Anyone 6 months and older can get the flu vaccine. Certain ‘at risk’ groups are more likely to experience complications of the flu if they were to catch it, therefore it is highly recommended that anyone who falls into one of these groups should get the vaccine every year.

These ‘at risk’ groups are entitled to receive the vaccine free of charge regardless of having a medical card or not. You can get the flu vaccine for free if you:

  • are 65 years of age and over
  • are pregnant
  • are a child aged 2 to 17 years
  • are an adult or child aged 6 months or older with a long-term health condition like:
  • chronic heart disease, including acute coronary syndrome
  • chronic liver disease
  • chronic renal failure
  • chronic respiratory disease, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), 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
  • haemoglobinopathies
  • morbid obesity i.e. body mass index (BMI) over 40
  • immunosuppression due to disease or treatment (including treatment for cancer)
  • are a child with a moderate to severe neurodevelopmental disorder such as cerebral palsy
  • Born with Down syndrome
  • Live in a nursing home or other long-term care facility

Other groups of people should get the vaccine to protect themselves, their families and those they care for. These include those who:

  • Work in healthcare
  •  Household contacts or carers of people who have an underlying chronic health condition or have Down syndrome are eligible to receive an influenza vaccine. A carer is described as someone who is providing an ongoing significant level of care to a person who is in need of care in the home due to illness or disability or frailty e.g. those in receipt of a carer's allowance.
  • People who are in regular contact with pigs, poultry or waterfowl

Please note: Household contacts of the following groups are not entitled to a free flu vaccine:

Household contacts of People aged 65 years and older, Pregnant women, children aged 2-17 years, healthcare workers or carers UNLESS they have a chronic condition as listed above

For anyone who does not fall into one of the above categories or does not fall into an at risk category as stated by the HSE, a charge will apply.

Who should not get the Flu Vaccine?

You should not get the flu vaccine if :

  • You have had a severe allergic (anaphylaxis) reaction to a previous dose or any part of the vaccine.
  • You are taking medicines called combination checkpoint inhibitors ( avelumab, ipilimumab, nivolumab, pembrolizumab, atezolizumab, durvalumab or cemipilimab)
  • Your vaccination should be re-scheduled if you have an acute illness with a temperature greater than 38°C.

Can I get the flu vaccination if I tested positive for COVID 14 days ago and im no longer symptomatic?

Yes, the flu vaccination can be administered 10 days after a positive COVID-19 test provided that the patient does not have an acute febrile illness

 Are there any side effects of the Flu Vaccine?

The most common side effects and symptoms will be mild and include soreness, redness or swelling at the site of injection. A headache, fever, aches and tiredness may also occur. Some people may experience mild sweating and shivering as their immune system responds to the vaccine but this is NOT the flu and will pass in a day or so.

How long does the flu vaccine take to work?

The vaccine starts to work within 2 weeks.

Can the Vaccine give me the Flu?

No. The injected flu vaccine doesn’t contain any live viruses, therefore it cannot give you the flu.

How effective is the Flu Vaccine?

The seasonal flu vaccine is the best protection you can get against an unpredictable virus but with all vaccines, it's not 100% effective. Studies have shown that the flu vaccine will help prevent you getting the flu but will not guarantee you not getting it, however, if you do get the flu after your vaccination, it's likely to be a milder and shorter-lived illness than it would otherwise have been.

What is the difference between the Flu and COVID-19?

Influenza (Flu) and COVID-19 are both contagious respiratory illnesses, but they are caused by different viruses. COVID-19 is caused by infection with a new Coronavirus (called SARS-CoV-2) and flu is caused by infection with influenza viruses. Because some of the symptoms of flu and COVID-19 are similar, it may be hard to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone, and testing may be needed to help confirm a diagnosis.

 Will the Flu Vaccine protect me against COVID-19?

 The flu vaccine will not protect against COVID-19