Swine Flu vaccination available for all until March 31
The Swine Flu Vaccination programme is moving into its final phase, where Swine Flu vaccine is being made available to the general population through HSE Clinics nationwide. Anyone in the target groups* who has not yet been vaccinated is advised to come to a HSE clinic for their vaccine before March 31st. In addition, any members of the general public who have not yet been offered vaccine may now come to a HSE clinic for swine flu vaccine.
Some GPs who have remaining vaccine supplies may also be able to vaccinate their patients. Other mechanisms for members of the general population are also being put in place by the HSE including offering vaccines to large companies and organisations who are in a position to offer vaccines to their staff through in-house occupational health facilities.
To date, approximately 800,000 people have been vaccinated and are now protected from any future swine flu circulation. The HSE is continuing the schools vaccination programme in primary and secondary schools and some HSE clinics in the weeks ahead. Parents are reminded to ensure their child is protected from swine flu, now and in the future.
Pregnant women from 14 weeks to 6 weeks after birth are reminded that vaccination against swine flu is still very important and available through GPs, HSE Clinics and some maternity units. Women who will be in late pregnancy in the autumn, or who are considering becoming pregnant this year, are advised to think ahead and be vaccinated now.
Speaking about the latest phase of the vaccination campaign Dr Pat Doorley, HSE National Director of Population Health, said; “we would encourage all those who have not yet been vaccinated to consider the options open to them to get the vaccine, whether that is through a HSE clinic, their GP, school or workplace and to make the necessary arrangements now given we are entering the final weeks of the vaccination campaign.”
“We would encourage all those who have not yet been vaccinated to consider the options open to them to get the vaccine, whether that is through a HSE clinic, their GP, school or workplace and to make the necessary arrangements now given we are entering the final weeks of the vaccination campaign.” said Dr Doorley.
The vaccination programme began in late October 2009 and vaccine was given to those of most at risk from Swine Flu. Vaccine has been offered to:
- People with long-term medical conditions like lung and heart disease
- Pregnant women
- Children aged from 6 months to 5 years
- Family members of babies under 6 months (to protect infants who cannot be vaccinated)
- School children from 5 to 18 years
- People aged 65 and over
- Healthcare workers
How many doses?
The HSE is primarily giving the Pandemrix vaccine at all locations, and 1 dose of this vaccine is sufficient for the vast majority of children and adults. Only people with immunosuppression need a second dose of Pandemrix.
All those who received the Celvapan vaccine from a HSE clinic since November will require 2 doses of this vaccine. The HSE is writing to anyone who has yet to receive a second dose of Celvapan, to ensure they come for their second dose.
How to get the vaccine
The vaccine is free of charge and available from HSE clinics nationwide and from some GPs who have stocks remaining. Detailed information on clinic locations and opening hours is online at www.swineflu.ie, where people can also make bookings for clinic visits. Information is also available on the Flu Information Line, Freephone 1800 94 11 00.