Flu is an acute respiratory illness caused by the influenza virus. It is spread by coughing or sneezing and is very contagious. Symptoms include; high fever, sore throat, dry cough, aches and pains in the limbs, headache and sometimes nausea and vomiting. Flu is usually self limiting and recovery takes 2-7 days, but it can be a severe illness in the elderly and those with chronic diseases.
A new vaccine against the seasonal strain of influenza is produced each year and is available in the Waterford Medical Centre from October onwards. Annual immunisation is strongly recommended for:
- People over 65 years
- Adults and children over 6 months old with chronic disease e.g. asthma, diabetes, cystic fibrosis, chronic heart, lung, kidney or liver disease
- People who have their spleen removed
- Children on long term asprin treatment
- Residents of nursing homes
- Healthcare staff
- Carers of those in the at risk group
- Poultry workers, vets, park rangers
From September each year the seasonal flu vaccine is available in the surgery, you can make an appointment with one of our nurses by calling: 051 852999
There is no charge for: people over 65 years and those high risk patients included in the list above.
Frequently asked questions on the Seasonal Flu Vaccine
- Does the flu vaccine cause flu?
- No, the flu vaccine does not contain a live virus therefore cannot cause flu.
- Why is the flu vaccine given every year?
- The strain of influenza virus changes every year therefore the vaccine must change in order to provide maximum protection against the viruses present in the community.
- When should the flu vaccine be given?
- Around October every year.
- How long does it take to get protection from the vaccine against the flu?
- It takes 10-14 days for the vaccine to provide protection against the flu virus.
- Is the flu vaccine safe in pregnancy?
- Yes, pregnant women with a chronic disease or with immunosuppression should be vaccinated.
- Can children be given the flu vaccine?
- Children over 6 months of age can be given the flu vaccine.
For more information go to:
Call the Waterford Medical Centre on: 051 85299 to make an appointment for your annual Flu Vaccine!