The HSE has urged people to defy “vaccine fatigue” and get themselves inoculated against COVID-19 and the flu this winter.
In the coming weeks, cases of both conditions are expected to increase and Health Protection Surveillance Centre Director John Cuddihy said people should be mindful of the risk they pose to their health.
“There may be some of what’s referred to as vaccine fatigue I suppose,” he said.
“We’ve all been through a very difficult few years of the pandemic but it’s important to stress that the influenza and COVID viruses are still very dangerous to those who are in at-risk groups.
“Like people who have chronic conditions.”
Top-up your immunity with the COVID-19 and flu vaccines to make sure you're protected in the months ahead.
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— HSE Ireland (@HSELive) November 17, 2023
People in the following categories are currently eligible for COVID boosters:
- Those aged 50 and over.
- People aged five or older with weak immune systems.
- Those aged five to 49 who have a condition that puts them at high risk of serious illness from COVID-19.
- Healthcare workers.
Anyone not included in those categories but would like a booster can request one from their GP.
“It takes about two weeks for the vaccine to take effect,” Dr Cuddihy said.
“So, now is the time to act and both the COVID and flu vaccines are available free of charge from participating GPs and pharmacies.
“Healthcare workers can also get the vaccines at workplace clinics.”
The Government has committed itself to establishing an inquiry into its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic but yet to confirm an official start date.
Main image: A booster shot of the Pfizer vaccine is administered in October 2021. Picture by: Bob Daemmrich / Alamy Stock Photo