The seasonal flu vaccine protects against the 3 strains of flu virus recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) as the strains most likely to be circulating this season.
You should get your flu vaccination from September to be covered for flu season. The viruses change each year. This is why you need to get a new vaccine each year.
People 18 and over should get the vaccine from their GP or Pharmacist or Occupational Health Department. Younger people should get the vaccine from their GP.
The flu vaccine is free if you are in an at risk group but you may be charged a consultation fee, unless you have a medical card or a GP visit card.
The flu vaccine doesn’t contain any live viruses – it cannot give you the flu.
How it works
The flu vaccine helps your immune system to produce antibodies to 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 flu vaccine starts to work within two weeks.
The HSE are urging people in at-risk groups to get the flu vaccine. They strongly recommended the vaccine if you:
- are 65 years of age and over
- are pregnant
- have a long-term health condition
- work in healthcare
- are a carer
- live in a nursing home or other long-term care facility
- in regular contact with pigs, poultry or water fowl
Don’t get the flu vaccine if you have had a severe allergic (anaphylaxis) reaction to a previous dose or any part of the vaccine.
Vaccination should be re-scheduled if you have an acute illness with a temperature greater than 38°C.