Seasonal Flu 2019/2020
What is flu?
Flu is an acute respiratory illness caused by infection with an influenza virus. Flu is usually self limiting and recovery takes 2-7 days, but it can be a severe illness in the elderly or those with chronic diseases such as respiratory illness like cystic fibrosis or asthma, chronic heart disease, diabetes, or chronic liver and kidney diseases.
Influenza is spread by coughing or sneezing and is very contagious. Symptoms include a high fever, sore throat, dry cough, aches and pains in the limbs and headache. Sometimes nausea and vomiting may occur.
Who should be vaccinated against flu?
Annual immunisation is strongly recommended for:
- People aged over 65
- Pregnant women
- Adults and Children over 6 months old with a chronic disease, for example, diabetes, liver disease, asthma, heart disease
- People who have had their spleen removed
- Children and teens on long term aspirin therapy
- Immunosuppressed people
- Residents of nursing homes
- Healthcare staff
- Carers of those in at risk groups
- People in regular contact with pigs, poultry or water fowl
Is the vaccine free of charge?
There is no charge for:
- Patients aged over 65 who have a medical card
- High risk patients (patients with chronic disease, immunosuppressed patients or those who have had their spleen removed) who have a medical card
- Carers (of high risk patients) who have a medical card
A charge of €25 applies to:
- Patients aged over 65 who do not have a medical card
- High risk patients who do not have a medical card
- Carers (of high risk patients) who do not have a medical card
Vaccinating your staff against flu in the workplace
A new vaccine against the current strain of influenza is produced each year and is available around early October. Our clinicians can visit your business at a mutually convenient time to vaccinate your staff against the flu. Vaccination takes no more than a few minutes and all equipment is provided.
Please contact Veronica Quadu at Mercer's Medical Centre for more information.
Frequently asked Questions about flu vaccination
Q. Does the flu vaccine cause flu?
A. No, the flu vaccine does not contain live vaccine therefore cannot cause flu
Q.Why is the flu vaccine given every year?
A. As the strain of influenza virus changes yearly so must the vaccine change in order to provide maximum protection against the circulating virus.
Q. When should the flu vaccine be given?
A. Around October every year
Q. How effective is the flu vaccine?
A. 70-80% effective
Q. How long before the vaccine will provide protection against flu?
A. It takes 10-14 days for the vaccine to start to provide protection
Q. Is the flu vaccine safe for pregnant or breastfeeding women?
A. Yes it is safe for both. Pregnant women with a chronic disease or those with immunosuppression should especially be vaccinated
Q.Can children be given the flu vaccine?
A. It is possible to administer the flu vaccine in Children older than 6 months of age