Limerick health officials want children to get free flu vaccine

Public health medicine consultant Dr Breda Cosgrove.

LIMERICK public health officials have advised that children living in the mid-west region should avail of free nasal spray flu vaccines because of a rise in flu cases in the region.

Forty children have died with flu over the past ten years, and in that time almost 5,000 children were admitted to hospital with complications of flu, including 200 children who were treated in intensive care.

The Department of Public Health Mid-West said that since the start of October, it has been notified of nearly 40 cases of flu in the Limerick, Clare and north Tipperary region, with children making up two in every five cases.

Consultant in public health medicine Dr Breda Cosgrove said: “Here in the mid-west, we are seeing a rise in flu cases and many of these are in children, we are urging parents to get the nasal spray flu vaccine for their children.“

“Children are more likely than adults to catch flu, and young children in particular can be very sick from flu. It’s a safe and effective vaccine, and is the best way to protect your child from flu this winter,” she added.

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“It is not an injection. It’s given as a spray in each nostril. Vaccinating your child will protect them and the rest of the family this flu season.

“While most children who get the flu have mild symptoms, some children can be very sick. In particular, children with chronic health conditions are at risk of serious complications from flu”.

Children aged two to 17 can get their nasal spray flu vaccine free of charge from their GP or pharmacy.