The flu vaccine will be available from the end of September 2020
Healthcare workers prevent the spread of flu and save lives by getting the flu vaccine.
The best way to protect you, your patients and your family is to get this year’s vaccine.
You can pass the flu virus to somebody you care for even before you know that you are sick.
Flu can be transmitted from 1 day before (asymptomatic) and for 3 to 5 days after developing symptoms. During this time patients and colleagues could become infected.
Healthcare workers and flu
Healthcare workers are at an increased risk of getting flu.
At least 20% of healthcare workers are infected with flu every year. Many people do not get symptoms of flu. You might only have mild symptoms and continue to work. This increases the risk of passing on flu to patients, family and colleagues.
If you have any symptoms of flu, please do not visit:
- residential care facilities
- vulnerable people
People who are 65 and older or with long-term medical conditions, often have weaker immune systems. These groups are more likely to be in hospitals and long-term care facilities. They rely on the immunity of people who care for them.
Research has shown increased vaccinations lead to a reduction in the rates of flu-like illness. This means less hospitalisation and deaths from flu in the elderly. It also means there is a reduction in healthcare worker sick leave.
Visit the HSE Website for further information and see the information leaflet below.
Flu Vaccine Information for Healthcare Workers
The flu vaccine for at-risk groups will be available from the end of September 2020
The seasonal flu vaccine protects against 4 strains of flu virus. These are the strains most likely to be circulating this flu season.
The vaccine is available every year to adults and children at risk of flu and its complications.
You need to get a new vaccine each year. This is because the strains of the flu virus change. This is why it is called seasonal flu. But people commonly call it flu.
You should get your flu vaccine as soon as it’s available, to be covered for flu season.
Flu season runs from September to end of April.
Some people are more at risk of getting complications if they catch flu.
You can get the flu vaccine for free if you’re in an at-risk group.
You are in an at-risk group if you:
- are 65 years of age and over
- are pregnant
- have a long-term medical condition – for example, a heart, lung, kidney or neurological disease or cancer
- have a weak immune system – for example, if you have diabetes or you’re having chemotherapy
- live in a nursing home or other long-term care facility
- are obese and have a body mass index (BMI) of over 40
- are a child with a moderate to severe neurodevelopmental disorder such as cerebral palsy
- were born with Down syndrome
Where to get the flu vaccine
You can get the flu vaccine from:
- your GP
- a local pharmacy
- an occupational health department if you work in healthcare
Visit the HSE Website for more information and see information leaflet below.
Flu Vaccine Information for People at Risk