As the autumn leaves begin to fall, it's time to think about safeguarding our families against the flu season. We're pleased to announce that we are now offering free children's flu vaccines at Woods HealthPoint Pharmacy. Here is everything you need to know about this crucial public health initiative.
Who is Eligible?
For Children Aged 2 to 12
All children between the ages of 2 and 12 are eligible for a free nasal flu vaccine.
For Young People Aged 13 to 17
Young people between the ages of 13 and 17 can also avail of the free nasal flu vaccine if they meet certain criteria, such as having a long-term medical condition, cancer, or impaired immunity. For the full list of criteria, refer to the section below.
Why Vaccinate Your Children?
While most children who contract the flu will experience only mild symptoms, those with existing long-term health conditions may face severe complications like pneumonia, bronchitis, or even inflammation of the brain (encephalitis). Some children with these complications may require hospital treatment or intensive care.
Over the last decade in Ireland, nearly 5,000 children have been admitted to hospital due to complications arising from the flu. Almost 200 of these children needed intensive care treatment, and tragically, 40 have died.
Who Shouldn't Get The Vaccine?
Certain medical conditions may prevent some children from getting the nasal vaccine. If this applies to your child, consult with your GP or pharmacist about alternative vaccination methods, such as an injectable vaccine.
How is The Vaccine Administered?
The vaccine is given as a nasal spray, one in each nostril. The process is painless, and your child can breathe normally during the administration. Some children with chronic conditions may need two doses, given 4 weeks apart.
Safety and Side Effects
The flu vaccine has been administered safely to children in the U.S. since 2003 and in the UK and Ireland since 2013. While side effects are generally mild and rare, they may include muscle aches, tiredness, and irritability. These typically subside within 1 to 2 days.
How to Protect Your Child
In addition to the vaccine, make sure your child practises good hygiene by frequently washing their hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand sanitiser. Teach them to cough or sneeze into a tissue or their sleeve and to dispose of tissues properly.
To book an appointment for your child's free flu vaccine, contact Woods HealthPoint Pharmacy.
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri: 9.00 a.m. – 6.00 p.m., Sunday: Closed
Phone: 0449 348409
Protect your child and community this flu season by taking advantage of this important initiative. Let's work together to make this flu season a safer one for all.
Disclaimer: This blog is intended for informational purposes and should not replace professional medical advice. Always consult your GP or pharmacist for health-related concerns.