Flu Season Approaches
The days are shortening and the evenings are getting chillier, that means flu season 2020 is almost here. Flu season is with us every year at this time, so it comes as no surprise. The difference this time around is the presence of another virus. The possible double effect of Coronavirus and influenza has us a bit worried. While we wait patiently for the promised Coronavirus vaccine, we can still protect ourselves from influenza. The flu vaccine is reworked every year to match what strains we predict are coming down the line. This year’s offering is based on China, Hong Kong, Washington and Phuket strains – meaning it’s a quadrivalent vaccine (quad=four!). Some of you may be familiar with the flu vaccine in previous years and many will have gotten vaccinated by one of our highly trained team. We are constantly working at pushing the boundary of what we can do to help our customers and communities. As a result, there are two interesting and positive changes coming into play this year:
Free vaccine for kids
The most interesting thing about the 2020 season is a nasal vaccine for children. All kids between 2 years and 12 years can get vaccinated for free. One spray up each nostril and they’re done. No needles, no pain, no hassle. This is great news for everyone. Not only will children be protected themselves but they will also protect their family indirectly. Grannies, grandads, extended family, everyone benefits from increased cover.
Free vaccine for those at risk
Previously there were some patients who needed to pay to get the vaccine. This year the cost of vaccination is covered by the HSE for all at risk groups. There’s an extensive list of these here. So if you fall into one of those groups (like over 65 or pregnant or carer) there’s absolutely no cost to you – as it’s paid for by the HSE. This saves you money and cuts down on the paper work on our end. God knows it’s complicated enough!
If you aren’t in an at risk group then you can still get the flu vaccine at one of our pharmacies. Like before, it’s a €25 euro charge to cover the cost of the vaccine and the administration.
We have decided that the best way to offer the service is by appointment only. This way the amount of people in the shops is controlled and we can clean up between appointments. We are expecting our vaccine supply to arrive sometime in late September to early October, so you can’t book an appointment just yet. You can register your email below and we can let you know when we are ready. If you have any questions, issues or worries then you could read the HSE’s FAQ HERE or call the pharmacists at one of our branches.
We are looking forward to being able to offer the flu vaccination this year and to playing our part in protecting the most valued and vulnerable in the Galway community. Stay safe and see ye soon.