The Flu Vaccine will become available from mid-September and we are now taking names for appointments.
Complete the relevant form below to receive priority notifications on the Flu Vaccine and to be contacted first to make an appointment for the flu vaccine at your local Cara Pharmacy.
Please note, service availability may vary per pharmacy and we will be operating on a first come, first served basis.
Influenza is a highly contagious respiratory illness caused by the influenza virus.
Influenza affects people of all ages and in some people, fly can cause serious complications such as pneumonia. Outbreaks of influenza occur almost every year, usually in winter. Which is why it is also known as seasonal flu.
Symptoms of the flu include fever or feeling feverish/chills, a cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches, tiredness and in some cases vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults. The symptoms of the flu generally last up to a week but can leave people feeling tired and drained for a number of weeks.
The Flu Vaccine is the best protection you can get against an unpredictable virus. It is best to get the vaccine as early as possible in the season usually September/October. The flu vaccine helps your immune system to produce antibodies to fight the influenza virus so if you come into contact with the virus, these antibodies will attack it and stop you from getting sick.
It may take 10 - 14 days for your immunity to build up fully after you've had the flu vaccine.
Flu strains change from year to year, therefore last year's vaccine may not work correctly on this year's flu strain. You must get vaccinated every year to stay protected.
Vaccination is strongly recommended for:
• People aged 65 and over
• Those with a long-term medical condition such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, asthma, COPD, diabetes, heart, kidney, liver, lung or neurological disease
• People whose immune system is impaired due to disease or treatment, including cancer patients
• People with a BMI over 40
• People with haemoglobinopathy
• People with Down's syndrome
• Pregnant women (can be given at any stage of pregnancy)
• Residents of nursing homes and other long stay institutions
• Healthcare workers
• People with regular close contact with poultry, water fowl or pigs
• A household contact to at-risk person
• If you are in one of the at-risk groups AND have a Medical Card, GP visit card, HAA or 2015A card you get the vaccine and consultation for free.
• If you are in one of the at-risk groups and do not have a Medical Card, GP visit card, HAA card you get the vaccine for free and pay a cost for the administration of the vaccine.
• All persons older than 70 already have access without charges.
• If you are not in any of the at-risk categories and wish to avail of the vaccine, you will pay full price. Prices for 2020 Flu Vaccines have not been confirmed.
• This year the government have announced that the flu vaccine will be available to all children aged 2 - 12 years free of charge. For children in this age group, a nasal spray vaccine will be given.
Please note, vaccinations for people with suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 must be deferred until they are not longer self isolating and it has been over 14 days since they first developed symptoms.
What is the difference between the Flu and COVID-19?
Influenza and COVID-19 are both contagious respiratory illnesses, but they are caused by different viruses. COVID-19 is caused by infection with a new coronavirus (called SARS-CoV-2) and flu is caused by infection with influenza viruses. Because some of the symptoms of flu and COVID-19 are similar, it may be hard to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone, and testing may be needed to help confirm a diagnosis. Flu and COVID-19 share many characteristics, but there are some key differences between the two.
Will the Flu Vaccine protect me against COVID-19?
There are currently no licensed vaccines for COVID-19. In contrast, antivirals and vaccines available for influenza. While the influenza vaccine is not effective against COVID-19 virus, it is highly recommended to get vaccinated each year to prevent influenza infection.
Our team of expert pharmacists are on hand to answer any queries you may have.