HSE Talking Health and Wellbeing Podcast, Episode 33 – COVID-19 and Flu Vaccines Explained

Photo of Sarah Geoghegan & Gillian Buggy in a studio with headsets on.

We’re happy to share with you some valuable insights from our latest HSE Talking Health and Wellbeing Podcast episode, where we delved into the world of vaccines, specifically focusing on COVID-19 and flu vaccines. Here are some of our key points from the episode:

The Importance of Vaccination: Our guests Dr. Sarah Geoghegan, Clinical Lead of the National Immunisation Advisory Committee, and Gillian Buggy, Regional Flu Lead for Southeast Community Health Care, emphasised the importance of vaccinations, especially for healthcare workers and vulnerable groups. Although vaccines may not be as effective in certain high-risk groups, it’s crucial for those caring for them to be vaccinated.

The Power of Vaccines: Dr. Geoghegan shed light on how vaccines work as she tells us that they mimic infection, triggering an immune response in our bodies. Some prevent infection altogether, while others prevent severe consequences.

Hybrid Immunity: We explored the concept of hybrid immunity, which refers to having both natural infection and vaccination for COVID-19. Studies show that this provides the best form of protection against the virus.

Flu Vaccination: Every year, a significant number of people die from the flu. Healthcare workers can unknowingly carry and spread the flu, making vaccination crucial.

Vaccine Uptake: We discussed the need to increase the uptake of vaccines, especially among healthcare workers, children, and vulnerable and older people. We also touched on the possibility of combining the COVID and flu vaccines in the future using messenger RNA vaccine technology.

Promoting Vaccination: Gillian shared some of the efforts being made across the country to promote vaccine uptake, including an online course called, “Flu and COVID-19 Vaccines for Healthcare Workers”. Gillian highly recommends this 15-minute course for all healthcare staff, available on HSELand.

Thanks to our guests and Cairin Conway for working on this one. I hope these insights spark your curiosity and encourage you to listen to our podcast. Remember, your questions are always welcome to healthandwellbeing.communications@hse.ie  and don’t forget to share the podcast with others who may be interested.

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