What is the Flu?
Influenza or Flu is a highly infectious and very common infection. Most flu outbreaks happen in late autumn or winter. There are many different strains of the flu virus. Symptoms of flu include fever (high temperature), headaches, sore throat, weakness and exhaustion, all over aches and pains. Symptoms can last for up to 7 days and affect people of all ages. The advised treatment for the Flu is rest and staying hydrated - You may need to stay in bed until your symptoms improve.
In some rare cases, the winter flu can cause serious complications such as pneumonia
Who Should Get the Winter Flu Vaccine?
There are certain groups of people recommended to get the winter flu vaccination every year, including anyone who:
- Is aged 65 and over
- Is pregnant
- Has a long-term medical condition such as diabetes, heart, kidney, liver, lung or a neurological disease
- Has cancer
- Has a weakened immune system (due to disease or treatment)
- Has a Body Mass Index (BMI) over 40
- Has haemoglobinopathy
- Has Down's syndrome
- Lives in a nursing home or other long-stay residence
- Is a healthcare worker with direct patient contact
- Cares for someone who's at risk of flu due to a long-term health condition
- Lives in the same house as someone who's at risk of flu due to a long-term health condition
- Has regular close contact with poultry, waterfowl or pigs
Am I eligible to get a free Flu Vaccination?
If you are in one of the at risk categories, aged between 2-17 years of age or in one of the recommended groups, you may be eligible to receive a free winter flu vaccination. For all other customers a charge may apply.
For more information on risk categories and recommended groups please visit Getting the flu vaccine - HSE.ie
How much is a Private Flu Vaccine?
For customers that are not in one of the risk categories a charge of €30 would apply
Is there anyone who should not get a Flu Vaccine?
There is a very small proportion of people who should not get the flu vaccine:
- Customers with a history of serious allergic reactions to a flu vaccination or any of its ingredients
- Customers who are taking medications known as checkpoints inhibitors
- Customers who have very low counts of a white blood cell type called neutrophils
If you are feeling unwell in the run up to your flu vaccination, you should reschedule your appointment until you begin to feel better.
Can my Child get their flu vaccination at McCauley?
McCauley Health and Beauty Pharmacy are committed to protecting your whole family this winter. All participating stores will be offering Free Child Flu Vaccinations in the form of a Nasal Spray for Children aged 2-17 years.
The nasal vaccine is recommended for all children aged 2 to 17 years of age, except those who fall into the following categories:
- They have had a severe allergic reaction to a previous dose of the flu vaccine or any of its ingredients
- They have severe asthma (or have been wheezy or needed their inhaler more than usual in the three days before the vaccination)
- They are taking medicines called salicylates, which include aspirin
- They have a severely weakened immune system because of certain medical conditions or treatments
- They are living with someone who has a severely weakened immune system, for example, a person who recently had a bone marrow transplant
For more information on the Child Flu Vaccination Service, please speak with one of our McCauley Pharmacists.
Will I get side effects from the Flu Vaccine?
A small amount of people develop side effects after vaccination. These are generally mild and will disappear after 24-48 hours. The most common side effects include the following:
- soreness, redness or swelling at the site of injection
- fever aches
Rare reactions include severe allergic reactions, nerve pain and inflammation, tingling, fits, thrombocytopenia (a blood disorder), rare nerve disorders and possible inflammation of the blood vessels. Seek medical advice if you experience any of these symptoms
Do I need to get the flu vaccine every year?
The current vaccine is designed to protect against the viruses responsible for causing most cases of Flu this year. Flu strains can change from year to year, which means last year’s vaccination may not protect you from this season’s flu strains.
How long after getting my vaccine before I’m protected against Flu?
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.