Flu Vaccine Service

StayWell Pharmacy Flu Vaccine Service

Register your interest NOW with your StayWell Pharmacy for the 2021/2022 Seasonal Flu Vaccination Service to be added to our waiting list for a flu vaccination.

How to Book an Appointment:

Step 1 Register for your flu vaccine with your local StayWell Pharmacy. You can do this in store or online here for selected StayWell Pharmacies* by clicking on the purple “Book Now” button in the bottom right-hand corner of this page. You will be asked to confirm your contact details along with your PPSN, answer some eligibility criteria questions and confirm your consent for the vaccine.

Step 2 A member of the StayWell Pharmacy team will contact you when an appointment becomes available if you are registering for the waitlist. This may be via SMS message, email, or a phone call. Alternatively, your StayWell Pharmacy may have appointment slots available to select a time and date. Once selected, proceed to complete your booking.

Step 3 Your StayWell Pharmacy will send a reminder the day before your appointment, and you will be asked to confirm that you do not have any symptoms of COVID-19.

*Registering your interest does not guarantee a Seasonal Flu Vaccination Service appointment or vaccination. Appointment availability subject to stock and pharmacist vaccinator availability and eligibility criteria. Selected StayWell Pharmacies only.

Flu Vaccination at StayWell Pharmacy

The seasonal flu vaccine is considered the best protection against the flu, its complications and spread of the flu. Annual vaccination is recommended because the virus is constantly changing and vaccination is the best way to lower your chances of getting the flu.

Our StayWell Pharmacy Seasonal Flu Vaccination Service is a simple and convenient way to help protect against the flu.

The flu vaccine does not cause the flu. It is important to keep in mind that getting the flu vaccine also protects the people around you. This is especially important if you spend time with people who are at risk of serious illness from the flu — like young children or older adults.

What is New for the 2021/2022 Flu (Influenza) Season?

For 2021/2022 Flu Season, there will be three different vaccines used in the HSE Influenza Immunisation Programme:

  • Quadrivalent Influenza Vaccine (split virion, inactivated) manufactured by Sanofi Pasteur for people with long term conditions
  • Fluenz Tetra nasal spray suspension Influenza vaccine (live attenuated, nasal) manufactured by AstraZeneca AB for children aged 2 to 17 years
  • Fluad Tetra manufactured by Seqirus Netherlands B.V. for people aged 65 years and over

Why Do People Aged 65 Years+ Need the Flu Vaccine?

People aged 65 years and over are more at risk of severe illness, hospitalisation, or serious complications from flu. The seasonal flu vaccine is the best protection against flu. For the 2021/2022 flu season, the Fluad Tetra flu vaccine will be offered to those aged 65 years and over as it is a more effective flu vaccine for this age cohort.

Why Should Children Get the Flu Vaccine?

Children, especially younger children, are at risk from complications of flu. Children carry the flu virus in their system for longer than adults do, so they can spread it easily to vulnerable people around them.

By offering the flu vaccination to as many children as possible in the autumn, it will help to protect them in time for the winter and also protect vulnerable people around them, such as family and friends.

What is Seasonal Flu (Influenza)?

Influenza, commonly known as the flu, is a common and highly infectious respiratory illness caused by the Influenza virus that infects the nose, throat, and lungs. It can range from mild to severe and can have serious or life-threatening complications. Symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle and body aches
  • Extreme fatigue

These are all symptoms that can be associated with the flu. It affects people of all ages and is usually more prevalent in the winter months.

Can Flu Cause Serious Illness?

Yes, the flu can cause serious illness and life-threatening complications including pneumonia, bronchitis and, on rare occasions, inflammation of the brain (encephalitis). Flu also can make chronic health problems worse.

Some people are more at risk of these serious complications, including anybody aged 65 and older, pregnant women, and anybody with an underlying health condition such as diabetes and chronic lung or heart disease.

What is the Flu Vaccine?

A vaccine is a product that helps the body’s immune system to fight against infections. Each year, the flu viruses change, so each year the flu vaccine changes to provide protection against the new strains of flu virus expected.

How Does the Flu Vaccine Work?

The flu vaccine helps your immune system to produce antibodies (proteins that fight infection). If you or your child have had the flu vaccine and you encounter the flu virus, the vaccine can help prevent you or your child from getting sick. If you do get flu after having the vaccine, your symptoms are likely to be milder and you will recover more quickly.

It can take 10 to 14 days for your immunity to build up fully after you have had the flu vaccine. You will be protected about two weeks after being vaccinated.

How is the Flu Vaccine Given?

The flu vaccine injection is administered with a needle and is usually given in the arm or thigh depending on age.

The nasal spray vaccine is administered as a single spray in each nostril of your child's nose. Your child can breathe normally while getting the vaccine. There is no need to take a deep breath or sniff. This vaccine is not painful and is absorbed quickly. It will work even if your child has a runny nose, sneezes, or blows their nose after the vaccination.

Most children need only 1 dose of the vaccine each year. Some children aged 2 - 8 years with chronic health conditions like chronic heart or lung conditions may need 2 doses if they have never had a flu vaccine. The doses are given 4 weeks apart.

Talk to our StayWell Pharmacist for more advice.

Who Should Get the Seasonal Flu Vaccine?

It is recommended that everyone from 6 months of age and older should get the flu vaccine every season, with rare exceptions. Vaccination to prevent flu is particularly important for people who are at high risk of developing serious flu complications.

It is especially important that the following groups get vaccinated:

  • Anybody aged 65 and over
  • Pregnant women
  • Children aged 2 to 17 years inclusive
  • Anybody aged 6 months or older with a long-term health condition like:
    • chronic heart disease, including acute coronary syndrome
    • chronic liver disease
    • chronic renal failure
    • chronic respiratory disease, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cystic fibrosis, moderate or severe asthma or bronchopulmonary dysplasia
    • chronic neurological disease including multiple sclerosis, hereditary and degenerative disorders of the central nervous system
    • diabetes mellitus
    • haemoglobinopathies
    • morbid obesity i.e., body mass index (BMI) over 40
    • immunosuppression due to disease or treatment (including treatment for cancer)
    • are a child with a moderate to severe neurodevelopmental disorder such as cerebral palsy
  • Anybody with Down syndrome
  • Residents of nursing homes and other long-stay institutions
  • Healthcare workers
  • Carers and household contacts of people at increased risk of flu because of medical conditions
  • Anybody with regular close contact with poultry, waterfowl, or pigs

Who Should NOT Get the Flu Vaccine Injection?

  • Anybody with a history of a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) to a previous dose of flu vaccine or with an allergy to any of the vaccine ingredients
  • Anybody taking medicines called combination checkpoint inhibitors (e.g., ipilimumab plus nivolumab) should not receive the flu vaccine because of a possible risk of immune reactions
  • Anybody who has severe neutropoenia (low levels of a type of white blood cell)
  • Anybody with an egg or chicken protein allergy must see their GP to be vaccinated or may need to be referred to a hospital specialist
  • Anybody unwell with a high temperature of more than 38°C, vaccination will have to be postponed
  • Anybody who has had a bilateral (double) mastectomy must see their GP to be vaccinated or may need to be referred to a hospital specialist

Who Should NOT Get the Nasal Spray Flu Vaccine?

  • Any child who has had a severe allergic reaction to a previous dose of the flu vaccine or any of its ingredients
  • Any child who has severe asthma or if they have been wheezy or needed their inhaler more than usual in the 3 days before the vaccination
  • Any child taking medicines called salicylates, which include aspirin
  • Any child who has taken influenza antiviral medication within the previous 48 hours
  • Any child who has a severely weakened immune system because of certain medical conditions or treatments
  • Any child living with someone who has a severely weakened immune system - for example, a person who must live in insulation in the months following a bone marrow transplant
  • Any child who has a condition which means they have a leak of the CSF (the fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord)
  • Any child with severe neutropoenia (low levels of a type of white blood cell) 
  • Any child on combination checkpoint inhibitors (e.g., ipilimumab plus nivolumab) which are used to treat cancer
  • Anybody who is pregnant

If your child cannot have the nasal spray flu vaccine, you should speak to your GP or your StayWell Pharmacist about getting the vaccine as an injection.

If your child is 6 months to 2 years of age and is in a high-risk group for flu, they'll be offered a flu vaccine injection. This is because the nasal spray is not licensed for children under the age of 2.

When Should You Delay Getting the Flu Vaccine?

There are very few reasons why getting the flu vaccine should be delayed. You may have to delay getting the flu vaccine if you are unwell – with a high temperature of more than 38°C – until you are better.

How Safe is the Flu Vaccine?

The flu vaccine is very safe. Flu vaccines injections have been given for more than 60 years to millions of people worldwide.

The nasal spray flu vaccine has been used successfully and safely for several years in other countries and millions of doses of the vaccine have been given to children.

What are the Side Effects of the Vaccine?

The side effects of the flu vaccine are generally mild and short-lived. Serious reactions are very rare; a severe allergic reaction occurs in one in a million people.

The most common side effects of the flu vaccine injection:

  • Skin reactions such as soreness, redness, swelling and bruising at the injection site
  • Headache, fever, aches, pains, and fatigue can occur

You may have mild sweating and shivering as your immune system responds to the vaccine. This is not flu and will pass in a day or so.

The most common side effects of the nasal spray flu vaccine:

  • Blocked or runny nose
  • Headache and muscle pain
  • Reduced appetite
  • Fever
  • General feeling of being unwell

Some children get a fever (temperature) after the vaccine. It is usually mild and goes away on its own. If your child has a fever or a headache, you can give them paracetamol or ibuprofen.

How Much Does this Service Cost?

The price of the flu vaccination varies based on the vaccine you will receive, your age and your medical history. Please talk to your StayWell Pharmacy team as you or your child may be eligible for a free vaccine, others may be subject to charge.

Getting the Flu Vaccine and your Appointment

COVID-19 Health Screen Prior to Appointment:

Please do not attend your appointment if:

  • You have any current symptoms of COVID-19 or
  • Have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the last 4 weeks or
  • Have been told you are a close contact of someone with COVID-19 or
  • Have been told you should isolate or
  • Have recently returned from foreign travel

Appointment Times:

  • You should allow at least 20 minutes for your vaccination appointment. After getting the vaccine, you will be under observation for 15 minutes
  • Please be on time but do not arrive at your StayWell Pharmacy more than 5 minutes before your appointment
  • You will be sent a reminder prior to your appointment
  • If you need to cancel or reschedule your appointment please contact your StayWell Pharmacy as soon as you can
  • Adults should arrive for their vaccination unaccompanied where possible. For children, they will need to be accompanied by their parent or legal guardian or an adult who is eligible to give legal consent. Who can give consent for vaccination of a young person aged under 16 years?

On the Day of your Vaccine Appointment:

  • Please wear a loose-fitting top so that your upper arm is easily accessible (if applicable)
  • Wear a face covering