A Galway TD is calling on the health service to ensure that ensure evening and weekend flu vaccine clinics are provided to facilitate access for school children and working families.
“Not only must the vaccine be made available to as many people as possible, but it is also imperative that schoolchildren and families can obtain a flu vaccination at a time that is convenient for them, in a socially distant manner,” stated Denis Naughten.
“The only way our health service can manage a surge in Covid-19 infection this winter is if we can rule out the possibility that the patient has flu, as the symptoms are so similar.
“This can only be achieved by a population-wide vaccination programme against the flu virus and the public must be actively encouraged to have the flu jab, and children the flu drops.”
Naughten previously criticised the Minister for Health and HSE for ordering 200,000 additional doses of the flu vaccine this year, which he claims is not sufficient.
The Independent TD said that there has been an “unfortunate time delay” in the delivery of the vaccine, but that people should get it as soon as it’s available.
There has been a two week delay in the delivery of the flu vaccine from the manufacturer Sanofi this year, the HSE informed pharmacists and GPs this week, due to administrative delays caused by COVID-19.
“If people go to the effort of protecting themselves, our older people and our health service by availing of the vaccine, the last thing we need is to have them put on a waiting list because they can only avail of it 9-5 Monday to Friday.”
“We were lucky that when Covid-19 struck in March we were pretty much out of the flu virus season, but that will not be the case if we have another surge in Coronavirus infections this autumn.”