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Flu Vaccine Service

Appointments are not necessary – call at anytime

Free of charge vaccinations are available to the following groups:
- Patients over 65 with a medical or doctor visit card
- Patients between 18-64 who are in the at risk group

Free of charge vaccines (patient will pay for administration) are available to:

– Patients over 65 without a medical or doctor visit card
– Patients between 18-64 who are in the at risk group
* those with a  chronic illness requiring regular follow up (e.g. chronic respiratory disease including cystic fibrosis, moderate or severe asthma, chronic heart disease,  chronic renal disease, diabetes mellitus, haemoglobinopathies, chronic liver disease, chronic neurological disease including multiple sclerosis, hereditary and degenerative disorders of the CNS etc)* those who are immunosuppressed due to disease or treatment including those with missing or non functioning spleens* those with morbid obesity i.e. body mass index over 40* all pregnant women (vaccine can be given at any stage of pregnancy)* healthcare workers* carers* residents of nursing homes and other long stay institutions* people with close regular contact with pigs, poultry or water fowl Information about the vaccine

What is influenza (flu)?
Influenza is a highly infectious acute respiratory illness caused by the influenza virus. Influenza affects people of all ages. Outbreaks of influenza occur almost every year, usually in winter. This is why it is also known as seasonal flu.

What is the seasonal (annual) flu vaccine?

Each year the seasonal (annual) flu vaccine contains three common influenza virus strains. The flu virus changes each year this is why a new flu vaccine has to be given each year. This year’s flu vaccine contains:

– an A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus

– an A/Switzerland/9715293/2013 (H3N2)-like virus

– an B/Phuket/3073/2013-like virus

How does seasonal flu vaccine work?

Seasonal flu vaccine helps the person’s immune system to produce antibodies to the flu virus. When someone who has been vaccinated comes into contact with the virus these antibodies attack the virus.

How long does it take the vaccine to work?

The vaccine starts to work within two weeks. Generally it takes 10-21 days to be fully protected against the flu.

What should I expect after vaccination?

The most common side effects will be mild and will include soreness, redness or swelling where the injection was given. Headache, fever, aches and tiredness may occur. Some people may experience mild sweating and shivering as their immune system responds to the vaccine but this is not flu and will pass in a day or so.

Rare reactions include severe allergic reactions, nerve pains and inflammation, numbness, tingling, fits, thrombocytopenia (blood disorder), rare nerve disorders and possible inflammation of the blood vessels. Seek medical advice if you experience any of these symptoms.

Patient Advice

– Being vaccinated is likely to provide effective protection against this year’s strain of the winter flu virus; however there will still be a small chance of you catching the flu.

– Blood tests for HIV, hepatitis C and HTLV1 should not be taken for 2 weeks following vaccination because there is a possibility of a false positive reading.

– On rare occasions, anaphylaxis (severe allergic reactions) may occur. We have procedures in place to deal with this.

– If you are concerned about any aspects of your vaccination or about any symptoms or side effects, you should talk to your pharmacist immediately.

– If you have a condition that affects your immune system or are taking any long term medicines for such conditions, you will need to go to your GP to be vaccinated.

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