Last year some 63% of elderly people, here in Ireland, got themselves vaccinated against flu. While this percentage is the highest since 2008, it is still less than the World Health Organisations target of 75%.
Elderly people, Healthcare Workers and those with long-term illnesses are now being urged to get the seasonal flu vaccination with effect from today, October 5th 2015.
This seasonal flu vaccine, which is available from GPs and pharmacies, will protect against three common flu virus strains expected to be circulating in Ireland this year, thus assisting in the reduction of future infection, illness and hospitalisation.
Past research has show that flu causes between 200 to 500 deaths during most seasons here in Ireland, with up to 1,000 people dying, should we experience a particularly severe season.
Note: The Health Service Executive (HSE) will providing the vaccine free of charge to those in at-risk groups including persons over 65 years, anyone over six months with a long-term illness, pregnant women, nursing home residents and healthcare workers.
The current vaccine contains three strains of the flu and these are the three strains that have been identified by the World Health Organisation which are likely to be circulating this coming winter season.
Of course if you do catch the flu, it is recommended that you should stay at home, rest, drink fluids and use ‘over the counter’ flu remedies to ease prevailing symptoms.