Be winter ready get your flu and COVID-19 vaccines

By June Shannon Heart News   |   21st Oct 2022

This winter both the flu and COVID-19 are expected to be in circulation – make sure you are protected from both

People living with heart disease and stroke are advised to get the flu vaccine and their COVID-19 booster dose if they have not yet received it.

THE HSE’s winter vaccination programme which was launched earlier this month includes a free flu vaccine for recommended groups and the COVID-19 booster dose.

While the last two years have been wall-to-wall COVID-19 its important to remember that flu can also be a severe illness and getting the vaccine is the best way to protect yourself against the flu

The flu vaccine is free to people aged 65 and over, those living with certain long-term health conditions that put them at higher risk of flu, and their carers or household contacts.

It is also free for children aged between 2 and 17 and comes in an easy and pain-free nasal spray form.

The flu vaccine is available from your GP or local participating pharmacy.

Coupled with the flu vaccine it is also important that people living with heart disease and stroke are up to date with their COVID-19 booster vaccinations.

A third booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine is currently being offered to people aged 65 and over and people aged 12 and older with a weak immune system.

People aged 50 to 64 are being offered a second booster dose as are those aged 12 and older with a condition that puts them at high risk of serious illness if they contract COVID-19 such as heart disease, diabetes or asthma, pregnant people, healthcare workers and those aged 12 or older who are living in a long-term care facility.

" Both flu and COVID-19 vaccines will be available from participating GPs and pharmacies and can be given at the same time.”

Dr Aparna Keegan, Specialist in Public Health Medicine, HSE National Immunisation Office,

The HSE is advising that the best protection against flu and COVID-19 is vaccination. This winter both flu and COVID-19 are expected to circulate and vaccination is proven to be the best protection against these viruses.  The HSE is therefore encouraging all those who are eligible to ensure their vaccinations for both flu and COVID-19 are up to date, in order to be winter ready.

Dr Aparna Keegan, Specialist in Public Health Medicine, HSE National Immunisation Office, said, “This winter, both the flu and COVID-19 viruses are expected to circulate. It is very important that all those who are invited get both their free flu vaccine and COVID-19 booster vaccines. Flu and COVID-19 are caused by different viruses but both can cause serious illness. The flu vaccine does not protect against COVID-19. That is why it is important that if you have had a COVID-19 vaccine you should still get your free flu vaccine. Both flu and COVID-19 vaccines will be available from participating GPs and pharmacies and can be given at the same time.”

COVID-19 primary and booster vaccines for people aged 12 or over are also available in the 15 vaccination centres across the country.

The HSE is also reminding anyone who has not received their primary vaccine or their booster doses, or who has had COVID-19 and has had to wait 4 months for their booster to book an appointment as soon as possible.

For more information on the flu and COVID-19 vaccines including how to get them please see here.

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