Limerick walk-in flu vaccination clinics open as case numbers rise

Public Health Medicine Consultant Dr Breda Cosgrove.

WITH more than 1,000 flu cases recorded in the Mid-West since mid-December, parents are being urged to avail of the free nasal spray flu vaccine for their children.

In a statement issued in behalf of the Department of Public Health Mid-West and the UL Hospitals Group, a spokesman said that the number of infections recorded was likely a conservative reflection of the overall picture, as not everyone with the flu would have been tested.

Two walk-in flu vaccination clinics for children and teenagers between two and 17 years old, will take place at Scoil Carmel, O’Connell Avenue, in Limerick City on this Thursday between 3 and 7pm and on Saturday, January 21, between 8.30am and noon.

The free nasal spray flu vaccine is also available from participating GPs and pharmacists until January 23, after which only children with medical conditions which put them at risk of serious illness from flu will be able to get a vaccine.

Public Health Medicine Consultant Dr Breda Cosgrove said that while most children who catch flu will have mild symptoms, it can cause serious illness in some children.

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“So far this flu season, 700 children have been admitted to hospital with flu across the country. We are encouraging parents to get their children vaccinated  with the nasal spray flu vaccine while it’s still available”.

UL Hospitals Group Paediatrician Dr Siobhan Gallagher said the level of flu across the Mid-West remains high, and while not all children who catch flu will be hospitalised, the hospitals in the region have been significantly impacted over the past number of weeks.

“The walk-in clinics provide a great opportunity for parents to have their children safely and conveniently vaccinated via nasal spray. I urge anyone who has not yet had their child vaccinated against flu to do so at a time when respiratory illnesses continue to circulate at such high levels.”

A list of vaccination centres and their times of operation can be found here