Covid-19 measures stopped flu in its tracks last year.
But as restrictions are lifted, HSE experts are warning that the ‘flu is likely to return with gusto in the coming months and the best way to avoid becoming ill is to book a flu vaccine.
“It was really unprecedented in terms of the low amount of flu circulating last year,” Director of the HSE’s National Immunisation Office Dr Lucy Jessop told RTÉ Radio’s News At One.
“The relaxation in travel restrictions means there’ll be more people moving around the world and in terms of mask-wearing and other measures we may well see a worse flu season this year. The WHO is warning that it may actually be quite a severe flu season this year because people weren’t exposed to flu last year as they would usually be,” she said.
Dr Jessop said people aged 65 and over will be the first to be offered the flu vaccine in the first phase.
The flu vaccine is free for all healthcare workers. Protect yourself, your family, and your patients by getting the flu vaccine today. Learn more here: https://t.co/5ZnO6RFY1b #YourBestShot pic.twitter.com/8uIGwxlUU7
— HSE Ireland (@HSELive) October 4, 2021
The vaccination service is free for people over the age of 65 or anyone over the age of 18 within at-risk groups.
New research conducted on behalf of Boots Ireland has revealed six in 10 adults (60%) claim that they are concerned about contracting the flu since the arrival of Covid-19.
Two-thirds (67%) of adults claim that they are likely to get the flu vaccine this year.