Castlebar Health Newsletter

content supplied by John O'Donnell Pharmacist

Tel: 094 24524    Fax: 094 27884


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Influenza can be a serious illness - especially for older people. Most deaths from influenza occur in people aged over 65 years.

People who are most at risk

People who are most at risk of complications should they develop influenza are:

  • those over 65 years
  • younger people who have chronic lung, heart or kidney disease, diabetes, or a suppressed immune system.

    The influenza vaccine is effective in reducing infection and associated illnesses, avoiding hospitalisation and even preventing death. Vaccination for the Winter should be undertaken in the September/October period.


    How do you get vaccinated?

    Influenza vaccination is available from your family doctor.

    If you are in any of the at-risk groups mentioned, make an appointment with your doctor now.

    You should also ask your doctor about the pneumococcal vaccine which protects against pneumonia if you have not previously received it.

  • The vaccine is free to all persons over 65 and to medical card holders in the younger at-risk groups.
  • Family doctors charge a consultation fee to patients not covered by a medical card.
  • All persons over 70 years are now entitled to a medical card.


    Frequently asked questions about flu vaccination

    1. Does flu vaccination give a high degree of protection? YES

    2. Can the flu injection give a person the flu? NO

    3. Can the flu cause serious illness, hospitalisation and death? YES

    4. Will the flu injection protect a person from the common cold? NO

    5. A person at risk should be vaccinated every year? YES

    6. Influenza is highly infectious and spreads rapidly? YES

    7. Carers of people in the at-risk group should enquire about vaccination for them? YES

    8. If I am at risk, I should talk to my doctor about getting vaccinated? YES