Nasal Flu Vaccines now free for teenagers
Last week, the HSE announced that they will offer the Nasal flu vaccine free to teenagers. So now Children 2 to 17 can get the flu vaccine free. There are no availability issues with the kid’s flu vaccine. For convenience you can book the free children’s vaccine online on the Whelehans website and it is free of charge. The nasal flu vaccine will only be available until December 31st.
Flu vaccine for children
Children are more likely than adults to get severe complications of flu. Children with chronic health conditions are at risk of serious complications from flu. In the last 10 years, almost 5000 children were admitted to hospital with complications of flu. Almost 200 children had to have treatment in intensive care and 40 children died. Children aged 2 to 17 can get the nasal flu vaccine for free from GPs and Pharmacies. The flu vaccine will help protect your child against flu and reduce the spread of flu to others (especially vulnerable groups like older people) as kids are bigger spreaders of flu than adults. The vaccine is a single spray in each nostril of your child's nose. The vaccine is not painful and is absorbed quickly.
Side effects of the nasal flu vaccine
Side effects are rare and if happen are generally mild and can include a runny or blocked nose, headache, muscle aches and a temperature. The children’s nasal flu vaccine has a miniscule amount of live virus but there is no evidence that you can catch flu from the nasal flu spray.
All vaccines are thoroughly tested to make sure they will not harm you or your child. The flu vaccine for children has a good safety record. Millions of children in the US and the UK have been vaccinated safely and successfully.
There is no thiomersal, aluminium or mercury in the children’s flu vaccine. It has a very small amount of gelatin (used as preservative).
Is it too late to get the children’s flu vaccine?
It is not too late to get the flu vaccine for both adults and children. Flu peaks from December to February. With Christmas coming and despite people taking more care this year, people will be mixing more indoors in the coming weeks, so flu risk will increase. While flu infection is likely to be lower this year with social distancing and mask wearing, the flu vaccine is still the best way to protect. If your kids are meeting family members in vulnerable groups (e.g. Grandparents) this Christmas, now is a good time to get their flu vaccine to maximise protection of loved ones.
Convenient Vaccination Service at Whelehans Pharmacies
Whelehans offer the flu vaccine (Adult and Children) from 8:30am daily; for convenience you can book the free children’s vaccine online on the Whelehans website or ring 04493 34591 (Pearse St) or 04493 10266 (Clonmore). It only takes a few minutes to get vaccinated. It is free for children 2 to 17 years. Whelehans still have stock of the adult flu vaccine too.
Next week… I discuss adult flu vaccine
Check www.hse.ie for more vaccine information. Book your flu vaccine at www.whelehans.ie or dial 04493 34591 (Pearse St) or 04493 10266 (Clonmore).