WATCH: Sligo University Hospital staff urge public to 'get the flu vaccine, not the flu!'

Leitrim Observer Reporter

Reporter:

Leitrim Observer Reporter

Fergal Hickey, Consultant in Emergency Medicine and Deirdre Staunton, Resuscitation Training Officer from Sligo University Hospital have shared their flu experiences in a new video aimed at promoting the uptake of the flu vaccine among healthcare workers.

The flu vaccine message is equally important for people who are vulnerable to the complications of flu such as the over 65s, those with a chronic illness, those with weakened immune systems and pregnant women.

Dr Anthony Breslin, Department of Public Health Medicine, HSE North West advised, “Flu cases are on the rise in Ireland, with a significant increase in cases of the H1N1 strain reported at hospitals in recent days. This is expected to continue over the next 6 to 8 weeks. The H1N1 strain is a very dangerous strain of influenza especially for at-risk groups, which may result in hospital admission, long-term medical complications or even death. This year’s flu vaccine is a good match for circulating flu strains.

“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. Seasonal flu vaccine can be given at any stage of pregnancy and also protects the baby”.

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.