Public urged to get vaccinated as flu cases continue to rise

Flu-season isn't over yet! The HSE is encouraging people to get vaccinated as the number of hospitalised cases approaches 3,000.

Boots Ireland is urging people to consider getting the flu vaccination to help protect themselves, and those around them, against the influenza virus. This comes as Ireland is currently in peak flu season with the risk of catching the flu still at an all-time high and will continue to be over the coming weeks.

According to the HSE, 609 confirmed influenza hospitalised cases were notified to the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) between the 6th and 12th January bringing the number of cases hospitalised due to the flu to 2,707 so far this flu season. Of those who have been hospitalised, fourteen of those cases have been critical care admissions to ICU.

Five influenza-associated deaths were reported during the second week of January while forty four influenza-associated deaths have been reported to HPSC to date this season. These numbers are expected to grow as the flu season continues.

Caoimhe McCauley, Director of Pharmacy, Boots Ireland, said: “Although we are halfway through this flu season, there is still a high risk of becoming infected with the influenza virus. While it’s great we have seen an uptake of the flu vaccination service across our stores this year, we are calling on those who have not yet been vaccinated to consider doing so to help protect against the flu and stop the spread of the virus over the coming weeks. Some patients may be eligible for a free vaccine, depending on their HSE scheme eligibility and risk factors, so I urge people to visit their local Boots to ask your Pharmacist for more details and ultimately to protect yourself, and those around you.”

Getting a flu vaccination is the best way to ensure protection against the virus, especially for those in the at-risk groups. People over the age of 65 years, pregnant women and those with long-term health conditions are in an at-risk group and have a greater chance of developing complications from flu. The vaccination also helps prevent the spread of flu.

The flu vaccination is still available in Boots pharmacies for those age 10 years and over and costs as little as €20, however, is free of charge for those who are in the categories for whom vaccination is strongly recommended and have a Medical Card, Doctor Visit Card, HAA** Card or 2015A*** Card.  Many of the Boots stores offer late night and weekend opening hours and the service can be booked online, with walk-ins also welcome.

For more information on the service or to book an appointment visit here.

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