Latest Laois News: Portlaoise Hospital launches Flu Vaccine Campaign for its healthcare workers
Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise launches Flu Vaccine campaign for healthcare workers
HSE’s Winter Vaccination Programme starts this week, older people and at-risk groups urged to protect themselves against both flu and COVID-19 by getting their vaccines
Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise has this week launched their flu vaccine campaign for healthcare workers to prevent the spread of flu in healthcare settings. Hospital staff also urge everyone eligible in the wider community to avail of both free winter vaccines, as they are the best protection against flu and COVID-19 this year.
Ms. Sandra McCarthy, Director of Nursing at the Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise stated: “Now more than ever we need to protect our staff and our patients. Healthcare workers are up to 10 times more likely to get the flu. Getting the flu vaccine is the best way to help protect staff and patients in healthcare settings from getting the flu. As healthcare workers, flu vaccination is important to protect ourselves and to prevent the spread of the flu to colleagues, families and patients.
The flu vaccine does not protect against COVID-19 because they are caused by different viruses. If you are eligible and haven’t received your next COVID-19 booster, we would encourage you to do so. Every individual who gets the flu vaccine and the COVID-19 vaccine this year is supporting our frontline services to continue to provide healthcare to vulnerable and sick patients.”
Dr. Karn Cliffe, Interim Chief Director of Nursing & Midwifery at the Dublin Midlands Hospital Group commented: “Flu is a serious illness. In a typical flu season, up to 500 people die from flu in Ireland. The circulating influenza viruses change each year, so each year the composition of the flu vaccine changes to protect against the new strains of flu virus expected. This is why we encourage our staff to have the flu vaccine every year. Getting the flu vaccine is a simple way for us to help control the spread of flu in healthcare settings and in the community.”
The HSE’s winter vaccination programme gets underway this week with the rollout of the free flu vaccine to recommended groups while those aged over 65 and all aged 12 and over with a weak immune system are invited for their next COVID-19 vaccine.
This week also marks the rollout of the adapted bivalent vaccines. Three adapted bivalent mRNA COVID-19 vaccines have been recommended for use for booster vaccination by the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC), following approval by the European Medicines Agency.
Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly TD said:
“As the weather becomes cooler and the nights become darker, all of our thoughts turn to how best we can protect ourselves and our loved ones from the worst impacts of COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses that circulate at this time of year. I welcome the roll-out of the HSEs winter vaccination programme that will facilitate booster doses of COVID-19 vaccine and seasonal flu vaccines being administered at the same time in GPs and Pharmacies.
“15 Vaccination Centres across the country are also continuing to provide COVID-19 primary vaccines and 2nd and 3rd booster doses this winter. We know that vaccines offer good protection from both COVID-19 and seasonal flu and urge everyone eligible to avail of this opportunity as soon as possible.”
Dr Aparna Keegan, Specialist in Public Health Medicine, HSE National Immunisation Office, said:
“This winter both the flu and COVID-19 viruses are expected to circulate. It is very important that all those who are invited, get both their free flu vaccine and COVID-19 booster vaccines. Flu and COVID-19 are caused by different viruses but both can cause serious illness. The flu vaccine does not protect against COVID-19.
“That is why it is important that if you have had a COVID-19 vaccine you should still get your free flu vaccine. Both Flu and COVID-19 vaccines will be available from participating GPs and Pharmacies and can be given at the same time.”
COVID-19 primary and booster vaccines for people aged 12 or over are also available in the 15 vaccination centres across the country.
The HSE is also reminding anyone who has not received their primary vaccine or their booster doses, or who has had COVID-19 and has had to wait 4 months for their booster to book an appointment as soon as possible.
From October 17th the children’s flu nasal spray vaccine will also be available free for all children aged 2 to 17 years from GPs and Pharmacies. For children aged 5 to 11 who have not had their primary COVID-19 vaccination and for those with a weak immune system and due a booster dose, appointments are available at HSE vaccination centres by making an appointment on www.hse.ie
The HSE will continue to be active over the next few weeks in our services, in the media and online, encouraging people to come forward for both flu and COVID-19 vaccines. A multi-media advertising campaign encouraging all eligible groups to come forward for their recommended vaccines will be rolled out from this week on radio, press, TV, digital and social media.