The Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly TD, has today announced the extension of free flu vaccines to children up to the age of 17.
Previously, all children aged from 2 to 12 years inclusive were given free access to flu vaccines. This has now has been extended to include all children between the ages of 2 and 17. The LAIV (Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccine) vaccine will be administered to children through a single spray in each nostril rather than an injection.
The vaccine is available at GPs and pharmacies. Parents are asked to bring their children for vaccination before the end of January.
To date since October, over 190,000 LAIV vaccines have been given to children aged from 2 to 12. Over 460,000 doses have been distributed to GPs and pharmacists and appointments for vaccination can be made immediately.
The Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly TD, said: “We are all doing what we can, this year more than ever, to protect the health of our families. Getting the flu vaccine is another way to look after your children’s health. Children are more likely than adults to get very sick from the flu, and they also may pass on the virus for a longer period of time than adults. By arranging for them to get a free flu vaccine, you will help to protect your children from a potentially serious illness. You will also help others in your family and community by reducing the potential to spread the flu.”