Tuesday, 29 September 2020

Ceisteanna (804)

Jennifer Murnane O'Connor

Ceist:

804. Deputy Jennifer Murnane O'Connor asked the Minister for Health the reason medical card patients are being charged €20 for a flu vaccine, which is meant to be free in 2020; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26442/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

Given the potential for the winter flu season in 2020/2021 to coincide with a resurgence of COVID, and the importance of minimising hospital attendance, the Government is expanding the provision of vaccination without charge to all of those in the at-risk groups, regardless of eligibility status and including healthcare workers, and to all children aged from 2 to 12 years inclusive.

The expanded programme will ensure that those most vulnerable to the effects of influenza will have access to vaccination without charges. By providing vaccination to those most at-risk, and those most likely to require hospitalisation if they contract influenza, it is anticipated that the programme will see a reduction in the number of influenza-related hospital admissions, as well as a reduction in the overall spread of influenza in the community.

A person who holds a medical card or GP visit card, but who is not in one of the at-risk categories and who wishes to be vaccinated may be charged a fee.