Influenza, usually known as the flu, is highly infectious and anyone can get it. However some groups are at greater risk of complications if they get the flu. This includes people over the age of 65, pregnant women and people who have a chronic medical condition.
The flu vaccine can help protect you from getting the flu. The flu virus changes every year and this is why there is a new vaccine each year. Vaccination is strongly recommended if you:
Are aged 65 and over
Have a long-term medical condition such as diabetes, heart, kidney, liver, lung or neurological disease
Have an impaired immune system due to disease or treatment
Have a body mass index (BMI) over 40
Live in a nursing home or other long-stay institution
Are a carer or a healthcare worker
Have regular contact with poultry, water fowl or pigs
You can get the vaccine from your GP (family doctor) or pharmacist. Children can get the vaccine from a GP.
The vaccine itself is free of charge if you are in one of the recommended groups.
However, doctors and pharmacists may charge a consultation fee when they give you the vaccine.
If you have a medical card or GP visit card, you can get the vaccine without being charged a consultation fee.
Further information is available from the Citizens Information Service below.
Know Your Rights has been compiled by Kilkenny Citizens Information Service which provides a free and confidential service to the public. Tel: 0761 07 7910 Address: 4 The Parade, Kilkenny and at Callan, Graiguenamanagh and Mooncoin.
Information is also available online at citizensinformation.ie and from the Citizens Information Phone Service, 0761 07 4000.