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 HSE defined at-risk groups, 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.
1.35 million doses of the Quadrivalent Influenza Vaccine have been ordered this year, to be made available to all persons in an at-risk group aged from 6 months up. The HSE is confident that the number of doses procured is sufficient to meet demand in the at-risk groups and this element of the vaccination programme has commenced.
Those third level students not covered by the publicly funded influenza vaccination programme can avail of influenza vaccination from GPs and pharmacists on a private basis. I understand that deliveries of the private supply of the intramuscular vaccine are expected to commence in the coming days.