The Department of Public Health is urging parents across Donegal, Galway, Leitrim, Mayo, Roscommon, and Sligo to avail of the free nasal spray flu vaccine for their children.
Children aged 2 to 17 can get their nasal spray flu vaccine free from their GP or pharmacy. It is not an injection – it is given as a spray in each nostril. You can find your nearest pharmacy offering the flu vaccine for your child here.
Vaccinating your child will protect them and the rest of the family too this flu season.
Children are twice as likely as adults to catch flu and can spread flu easily. Young children, in particular, are more likely than adults to be very sick from flu.
While most children who get the flu have mild symptoms, some children can be very sick. In particular, children with chronic health conditions are at risk of serious complications from flu.
In the last 10 years in Ireland, almost 5,000 children were admitted to hospital with complications of flu. Almost 200 children had to have treatment in intensive care and 40 children have died.
Since the start of October, we have been notified of over 200 cases* of flu in the Area F region. Nearly one in every three cases have been in children.
Dr Regina Kiernan, Consultant in Public Health Medicine at Public Health said: “Here in the West and North-West, we are seeing a rise in flu cases and many of these are in children. We are urging parents to get the nasal spray flu vaccine for their children. Children are more likely than adults to catch flu, and young children in particular can be very sick from flu.
The vaccine is free of charge from your GP or pharmacy, it’s a safe and effective vaccine, and is the best way to protect your child from flu this winter.”