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Who can get a free Flu Vaccine?

Updated: Sep 27, 2023

This year we are trialling something which we think will be more convenient for our customers - walk in flu vaccine days with no appointment required.


The above question and answer confuses both ourselves and our customers every year so we've complied the below HSE eligibility criteria for the upcoming season.

 

For the 2023/24 flu season, the Health Service Executive (HSE) has specified certain groups that are eligible for a free flu vaccine. These groups are as follows:


Age-Based Eligibility:

1. Children: All children who are between the ages of 2 and 12 years at the time they receive the vaccination.


2. Seniors: Individuals who are 65 years of age or older.

Pregnancy:


3. Pregnant Women: Women at any stage of their pregnancy are eligible for the free flu vaccine.


Medical Conditions:


4. Specific Age and Health Conditions: People aged 6 to 23 months and those aged 13 to 64 years who also have the following medical conditions are eligible:

• Chronic heart conditions, including acute coronary syndrome.

• Chronic liver diseases.

• Neurological disorders including multiple sclerosis and hereditary degenerative conditions of the central nervous system.

• Chronic kidney failure.

• Cancer patients undergoing treatment.

• Chronic respiratory diseases, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cystic fibrosis, moderate or severe asthma, and bronchopulmonary dysplasia.

• Individuals with diabetes mellitus.

• Down syndrome sufferers.

• Haemoglobinopathies.

• Immunosuppressive conditions due to diseases or treatments, including asplenia or splenic dysfunction, and ongoing cancer treatment.

• Morbid obesity, defined as a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40 or above.

• Patients on long-term aspirin therapy, due to the risk of Reyes syndrome.

• Conditions compromising respiratory function, including cognitive dysfunction, spinal cord injuries, seizure disorders, or other neuromuscular disorders; particularly those attending special schools or day centres.

• Moderate to severe neurodevelopmental disorders like cerebral palsy and intellectual disabilities.


Occupational Criteria:


5. Healthcare Workers: This category includes staff working in general practice and pharmacies.


6. Residents of Long-Term Care Facilities: Individuals residing in nursing homes and other long-stay institutions.


Carers and Contacts:


7. Carers and Household Contacts: Those who are caregivers or household contacts of individuals with increased medical risk.


Special Occupational Risks:


8. Agricultural Contacts: Individuals who have regular contact with pigs, poultry, or waterfowl.


It's essential for those who fall within these categories to take advantage of the free flu vaccination programme to protect themselves and others from the flu.

 

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