Wednesday, 20 November 2019

Ceisteanna (191)

Stephen Donnelly

Ceist:

191. Deputy Stephen Donnelly asked the Minister for Health if private hospitals have been asked to vaccinate staff against the flu; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47987/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

Vaccination remains the most effective means of preventing infection by seasonal influenza viruses and can reduce severe disease that can lead to hospitalisation and death.

Each year the HSE reviews, and updates its influenza plans, taking into account lessons learned from previous years with a view to targeting key groups in order to create the greatest impact in terms of people receiving the influenza vaccine. The seasonal influenza vaccination is recommended for persons aged 65 years of age and older, health care workers and people in at risk groups.

On 10th of October, I officially launched the HSE influenza flu vaccine campaign for 2019/2020. This year, for the first time, on foot of a recommendation from the National Immunisation Advisory Committee a quadrivalent influenza vaccine will be used instead of the standard trivalent vaccine. The provision of a quadrivalent vaccine will offer a substantially greater level of protection to the population when compared to the trivalent vaccine provided in recent years.

I am informed by the HSE that they have not written specifically to private hospitals. However, the HSE influenza campaign advises that all staff who work in any healthcare setting should be offered influenza vaccination, in order to protect themselves, their families and their patients.