Don’t we wish we had a vaccine for Covid? Well we do have one for Flu …. Are you going to get vaccinated?

It’s Flu Vaccine time of year and never before has it’s uptake been so important. We simply can’t allow our health service be swamped by Covid and Flu this year.In short we need everyone who is in a vulnerable at risk group to get the Flu Vaccine and as well as this as many more as we can. So as best as we can we will try and deal with your Flu Vaccine queries here…….

How much will it cost?

This year everybody in an at risk group from 6 months up will get the Flu Vaccine for free.Children from 2 to 12 years will get the Flu Vaccine Nasal Spray and everyone else will get the Flu Vaccine in an injection.Children 12 to 18 years in an at risk group can choose to get the Nasal Spray but it won’t be paid for by the state.All children between the ages of 2 and 12 years will get the flu vaccine for free whether they are in an at risk group or not. For those who don’t qualify for a free vaccine there will be a charge of €25.Get in touch and we will advise you what applies for you.

Who is in an at risk group?

While everyone should get the Flu Vaccine for the following group of people it really is a must.

  • Persons aged 65 years and older;
  • Persons with a chronic illness requiring regular follow up, e.g. chronic respiratory disease (including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cystic fibrosis, moderate or severe asthma and bronchopulmonary dysplasia), chronic heart disease (including acute coronary syndrome), chronic renal disease, diabetes mellitus,haemoglobinopathies, chronic liver disease, chronic neurological disease (including multiple sclerosis, hereditary and degenerative disorders of the central nervous system);
  • Those who are immunosuppressed due to disease or treatment including those with missing or non-functioning spleens;
  • All cancer patients;
  • Patients with any condition that can compromise respiratory function, e.g. spinal cord injury, seizure disorder or other neuromuscular disorder;
  • Persons with Down syndrome;
  • Those with morbid obesity, i.e. body mass index over 40;
  • All pregnant women (vaccine can be given at any stage of pregnancy);
  • Healthcare workers;
  • Household contacts of at-risk persons;
  • Out-of-home care givers to at-risk persons
  • Residents of nursing homes and other long-stay institutions;
  • Carers;
  • People with regular contact with pigs, poultry or waterfowl.
  • Those likely to transmit influenza to a person at high risk for influenza complications.
  • Household contacts of at-risk persons (Do you call in on your elderly parents regularly? ..This could be you)

What measures have you taken to make getting the Flu Vaccine safer this year in light of Covid?

As you can expect much has changed this year….

Appointments Only Due to the sheer volume of people looking to be vaccinated this year we will be vaccinating on an appointment basis only. Book your Flu Vaccine here ! If you would prefer you can ring or call in to either store and we will make your appointment.

Dublin Rd 0906477739 Monksland 0906490242

On the morning of your appointment you will get a phonecall from our pharmacist to run through a quick questionnaire with you as well as a Covid assessment.

Face Masks must be worn

Face masks will be mandatory for everyone being vaccinated whether a child or adult.We do understand for younger children this may not be possible and will make allowances. Obviously for chilldren getting the nasal spray the mask will be removed prior to vaccination.We have also installed perspex screens into our consultation rooms for your safety. Our pharmacist will also be wearing a face mask and visor while giving you or your child the vaccine.

The Consultation Room in our Dublin Rd store complete with perspex screen.

Sanitation

You will be asked to wash your hands before entering our consultation room . Our pharmacist will be doing the same.Both our consultation room and waiting area will be sprayed down with an alcohol based spray after your departure to prepare for our next vaccination.You can rest assured that we are very conscious of the need to keep all our commonly used areas sanitised for your safety and ours.

Pre Appointment Assessment

On the morning of your appointment or the previous evening (if you have an early morning appointment) you will get a phonecall from either our pharmacist or one of our Technicians to go through our Patient Consent form and Covid Symptom checker.The aim of this is to reduce the amount of time you will have to be instore for your appointment.It is also there to ensure that nobody with Covid symptoms turns up for their appointment. It will also assist our pharmacist in assessing which vaccine is suitable for you.

Covid Symptom Checklist

How long will i have to wait for after being vaccinated?

You are advised to wait for 15 minutes after being vaccinated to ensure you don’t get the very rare anaphylactic reaction to the vaccine. This reaction,in the unlikely event it were to happen, is most likely in the 5 minutes immediately post vaccination. If you have somebody with you you can wait the remaining 10 minutes in your car.We are fully equipped to deal with anaphylaxis if it were to happen.

Is the vaccine injection sore? How will i feel afterwards?

As somebody with diabetes who injects regularly it is easy for me to say it is not sore .This year marks my ninth year vaccinating and the overwhelming reaction of patients after being vaccinated is how they expected it to be alot sorer.In reality it is like a pinch. Afterwards it is likely you might feel a sensation like a slight bruise on your shoulder. For a few days after your vaccination you may get a slight runny nose.This is not the flu but rather a reaction to the vaccine. Remember the Vaccine Injection is inactivated so it is impossible to get the Flu from it.

What about the Nasal Spray? How is that different?

Whereas the Flu Vaccine Injection contains inactivated flu the Fluenz intranasal spray has live attenuated ( weakened) virus in it. As such there are some children who shouldn’t take it. It works just as effectively as the injection and is obviously much easier to take for young children.

Personal responsibility is a big part of our battle against Covid .We may rant about how little somebody else is doing but ultimately we only have control over what we do ourselves. Face coverings , social distancing, hand hygiene and cough etiquette are all part of our arsenal in this journey. So too is, us as a nation, deciding to vaccinate against flu this year.

#staysafe

Paul Cunningham ,Pharmacist

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