Local Fianna Fáil Minister Darragh O’Brien has welcomed the expansion of the flu vaccine for children aged two to 12 and to those in at-risk groups.
Children aged two to 12 can get the free vaccine, which will be administered nasally, from their GP or pharmacy from October to the end of December 2020.
Minister O’Brien said: “I strongly supported the proposal brought by Minister Donnelly to Cabinet to expand the scheme to children aged two to 12. We know that children are more likely than adults to get severe complications of flu and miss days in crèche, childcare and school.
“As children go back to school and as the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic continues its vitally important that we try to offset the effects of the oncoming flu season.
“The new inclusion of at-risk groups, such as those who are pregnant, those who are immunosuppressed and those who suffer from chronic illness, brings the number of people now eligible for a free flu vaccine to approximately two million.
“I have no doubt that this will save lives, it will lessen the burden on our health system at a very challenging time and it will put people’s minds at ease.”