Walk-in Flu Vaccination clinics for children will be running at Galway Racecourse this weekend in response to a rising number of cases.
Children age from 2 – 17 years old can avail of the free nasal spray flu vaccine this Friday and Saturday, along with next week.
After these dates, only children with medical conditions which put them at risk of serious illness from flu will be able to get a vaccine and this will be an injection.
The HSE is encouraging parents to avail of this opportunity to vaccinate their children against flu as flu continues to spread and is likely to continue circulating further for a number of weeks.
The following walk-in clinics are available at Galway Racecourse:
- Friday 13 January, 2 pm – 8 pm
- Saturday 14 January, 8:30 am – 2:30 pm
- Friday 20 January, 2 pm – 8 pm
- Sunday 22 January, 8:30 am – 2:30 pm
The vaccine is also available from participating GPs and pharmacists. Parents can find details on pharmacies offering vaccinations in their area using the pharmacy finder tool.
Dr Emer O’Connell, Consultant in Public Health Medicine at Area F said: “Flu is a serious illness that can be dangerous in children too.”
“We are seeing rising cases of flu in the community so we are encouraging parents of children aged 2-17 to get their children vaccinated to protect them while there is still time.
“The nasal spray flu vaccine is a very safe and effective vaccine and helps your child’s immune system produce antibodies that fight infection. It cannot give your child the flu.”
“If your child has had the flu vaccine and they come into contact with flu virus, these antibodies will help them fight the flu and reduce the risk of getting sick or needing to go to hospital.”
To date, there have been nearly 700 children admitted to hospital with the flu over the winter period.
While most children who catch flu have mild symptoms, flu can sometimes lead to serious complications such as pneumonia or bronchitis in some children.
Children, especially young children, are also more likely than adults to get severe complications of flu.
In Ireland, between 2009 and 2019, the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) reported that 4,750 children needed hospital treatment because of complications of flu.
Of these, 183 had to be admitted to the intensive care unit, and 41 children lost their lives.