The Community Health Organisation (CHO) Area 1 Cavan, Donegal, Leitrim, Monaghan & Sligo) Flu Vaccine Campaign was launched this week by Tommie Gorman, RTE Correspondent.
The launch took place in An Clochar, Health Campus, Ballyshannon and was attended by HSE staff and representatives from various agencies associated with the HSE.
Launching the campaign Tommie stated, "For several years the Flu Vaccine service has helped to keep people like me alive and healthy. I have what’s described as a chronic illness and I am one of the many people who are strongly advised to get the Flu Vaccine jab. So for obvious reasons I am delighted to be involved in the launch of this energetic campaign in our region. Seeing is believing - at the launch, here in Ballyshannon, I’m availing of the opportunity to get my injection."
Flu can be a very serious and sometimes deadly disease, with potentially 1,000 flu related deaths in Ireland during a severe flu season. Flu is very infectious and can cause potentially serious illnesses especially for older people, those who have a chronic illness, those with weakened immune systems and pregnant women. Seasonal flu vaccine can be given at any stage of pregnancy and also protects the baby.
The flu vaccine cannot give you the flu as it does not contain any live flu virus and all those at risk should get vaccinated as soon as possible this year to make sure that they are protected.
The following groups of at-risk people should be vaccinated against seasonal influenza:
· Everyone aged 65 years and over
· Anyone over six months of age with a long term illness requiring regular medical follow-up such as chronic lung disease, chronic heart disease, diabetes or those with lower immunity due to disease or treatment
· Pregnant women
· Residents of nursing homes and other residential care services
· Healthcare workers
The HSE provides the flu vaccine free of charge for all those in the at-risk groups.
The vaccine and consultation are free for those with a Medical Card or GP Visit Card. Those without a Medical Card or GP Visit Card will be charged a consultation fee. Those aged 18 years or older in the at risk groups may attend either their GP or pharmacist for vaccination and those under 18 years should attend their GP.