A doctor says the flu vaccine will be delivered in a "much, much easier" way for young children this year.
Around 750,000 kids under 12 are to receive the nasal spray vaccine for free in October, as part of an extension of the usual annual vaccination programme.
The Irish Independent today reports that car-park clinics may be used to help GPs handle the rollout for all children this year.
The expanded vaccination programme comes amid efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19 during the already busy flu season.
Professor Karina Butler, infectious disease expert at Children's Health Ireland, told Newstalk Breakfast that rolling out the vaccine for children is a "fantastic development" and a "really good news story".
She said: "We all know flu is very common: every winter we go through it.
"Children get flu, and they spread it to their family contacts and older people... Every year, we have [a few] children end up in hospital, and even some in intensive care - all because of flu.
"It's great that now we're in a position to recommend that all children avail of a flu vaccine."
Benefits of 'spray' vaccine
Professor Butler says up until now the vaccine has been delivered by injection.
However, she observed: "There's always a downside to injections: children simply don't like children getting them, and even for parents it's hard to watch their children getting them at times.
"This now comes as a couple of drops into each nostril... that is a much, much easier way to deliver the vaccine for children."
She explained there are only very mild side effects for some children - the vaccine itself is a weakened form of the virus, so children might get a snuffly nose or minor fever in the days after the spray.
However, she said such side effects would not be enough that it would keep children out of schools unless they have an allergic reaction to the vaccine.
Professor Butler said the scale of the vaccine programme this year will be "very challenging" for everyone involved.
She said: "Those details have been worked out by the National Immunisation Office. Of course COVID brings the extra challenge on board.
"It is a big extra workload we are asking of GPs and pharmacists, in terms of taking this on as well. [But] everyone in the community is rising to the challenge of doing over and above their normal when it comes to preventing COVID and its spread."