Vaccine information

What is the flu?

Seasonal influenza (the flu) is an acute respiratory infection caused by influenza viruses that infects your lungs and upper airways.  It is common in all parts of the world.  Most people recover without treatment.  Influenza spreads easily between people when they cough or sneeze.  Vaccination is the best way to prevent the disease.

Symptoms of influenza include acute onset of fever, cough, sore throat, body aches and fatigue.  Treatment should aim to relieve symptoms.  People with the flu should rest and drink plenty of liquids.  Most people will recover on their own within a week.  Medical care may be needed in severe cases and for people with risk factors.

Why is it important to get the Flu Vaccine each year?

Vaccination is the best way to prevent influenza.  Safe and effective vaccines have been used for more than 60 years.  This makes the illness less severe and reduces the chance of complications and death.  Immunity from vaccination goes away over time and the strains of the virus change each year.  This is why it is called seasonal flu.  So annual vaccination is recommended to protect against influenza.

When are Flu Vaccines Available?

The national Seasonal Flu Vaccination campaign runs from September to February each year.

Who can get a free flu vaccine

People who are in an ‘at-risk’ category as defined by the HSE can get a free flu vaccine. You can get a free flu vaccine if you are:

age 65 and older

age 2 to 17

a healthcare worker


living in a nursing home or other long-term care facility

in regular contact with pigs, poultry or waterfowl

someone with a health condition that puts you at higher risk of flu (age 6 months and older)

living with someone who has a health condition that puts them at higher risk of flu

a carer for someone who has a health condition that puts them at higher risk of flu

Health conditions that put you at higher risk of flu are:

  • chronic heart disease, including acute coronary syndrome
  • chronic liver disease
  • chronic kidney failure
  • chronic respiratory disease, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cystic fibrosis, moderate or severe asthma, or bronchopulmonary dysplasia
  • chronic neurological disease including multiple sclerosis, hereditary and degenerative disorders of the central nervous system
  • diabetes
  • Down syndrome
  • haemoglobinopathies
  • a body mass index (BMI) over 40
  • immunosuppression due to disease or treatment (including asplenia or hyposplenism, and cancer)
  • children with a moderate to severe neurodevelopmental disorder such as cerebral palsy
  • children on long-term aspirin therapy
  • any condition that can compromise respiratory function, like spinal cord injury, seizure disorder or other neuromuscular disorder, especially people also attending special schools or day centres

If you are not in an at-risk category, but are aged between 18-64 please book Flu Vaccination – Private.

If you are in an at-risk category and are aged over 18years please book Flu Vaccination – 18years and over and in an “at risk” category. Note all patients over 65 years are to book into “at risk” group

COVID Booster

  • All those aged 80 years and older
  • Pregnant Women